Financial health check: young families
As your family and financial responsibilities grow, it's increasingly important to manage your money effectively. Here’s a checklist to help you get started:
Managing family spending
- Keep your outgoings under control with a budget and you're less likely to get into difficulty. You can use technology like MoneyHub to track your spending and budget smarter.
- Research and compare energy providers to get the best deal for your needs.
- Are your savings getting the best interest rate for the level of access that you require? You should regularly compare savings accounts to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
- Maximise the return on your savings by using your annual ISA allowance to grow your savings tax-free.
- If possible, you should aim to have at least three months’ salary put aside for an emergency.
- If you’re considering funding some of the big things in your child’s life, such as school fees, university, a deposit for a house or even a wedding, the earlier you start to plan the longer your savings will have to grow.
- If you can, put money away for your child's future in a specialist child savings account.
- Have you thought about your own future? If you haven’t already started saving for retirement, now is the time to think about it. The earlier you start to save, the longer your pension pot will have to grow. For information on how to get started, read our retirement saving checklist.
- If you can afford to lock money away for the medium to long term, you may want to consider investing. Investing involves risk: find out more by reading our guide to investing for beginners or speak to a financial adviser.
- Are your investments performing well? As with cash savings, you should keep track of any investments that you already have, to make sure they're still performing well and suitable for your goals and attitude to risk. You can track your investment accounts with MoneyHub, along with your other assets and liabilities.
Protecting your family
- Making a will ensures that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes if you die. Read our guide to wills to find out more.
- Life insurance can protect your family if you or your partner should dies. Read our guide to life insurance.
Borrowing and debt
- If you’re thinking about buying your first home, read our first-time buyer mortgage guide.
- If you're ready to move up the property ladder or are looking to move to a better rate, visit our guide to remortgaging to get started.
- If the interest on your debts is higher than the interest you can earn on your savings, using any extra cash to clear your debt before adding to your savings pot could save you money.
- If you’re struggling with debt there are a number of charities such as the Citizens Advice Bureau that can offer free debt advice.
Last updated: 04 June 2015