With Australian cities now ranking as some of the most expensive places to live worldwide, it’s no surprise that you might feel like you’ve been left far behind in the financial stakes. It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to take control of your finances.
While seeking help from a debt relief service is a good first step, don’t underestimate the importance of small changes to reduce your day-to-day spending as well. And to that end, it’s worth understanding how your family dynamics can play a part in gaining your financial freedom.
Live Closer Together
First, why not live a bit closer with your family? In many cultures worldwide, it’s perfectly normal for several generations to live together, or at the very least, to share large parts of their lives. In Australia, our family life tends to be more fragmented, with siblings generally living separate (and even competitive) lives once they move out, marry, and have children.
There’s plenty to learn from other parts of the world, however. While we’re not suggesting you should all be living under one roof, working hand-in-hand in the smallest of ways can have a significant impact on your finances. As the saying goes, “it takes a village” to raise a family.
Share Everyday Costs
Next, if you do live in the same town or city as siblings or other family members, look at ways you can share everyday living costs. If you both have children of a similar age, you might share child caring to help save on formal childcare costs.
Similarly, bulk buying food and other household items is another very simple way that you can start to save money every week. Boxes of fruit, vegetables, canned goods or other long-lasting pantry staples may be significantly cheaper if purchased in bulk and distributed between households. Have a chat about your spending with other family members to see if there’s an overlap you can take advantage of. Who knows how much you might save when you work together!
Share Services and Subscriptions
Another simple strategy to save money is to look to your family first if you need anything around the home, be it a particular item or something repaired or renovated. Before heading to the shops for a purchase, ask family members first in case they have another one of those items that they no longer need. Setting up a barter system can be a great way to save on spending, and also minimise waste.
For repairs, renovations or anything else that you need doing, always consider the skills in your extended family. If you have a niece or nephew, uncle, cousin or anyone else who’s a carpenter, builder or accountant, for instance, look to them first before outsourcing. Sharing services between family and friends is a great way to build a cost-saving community.
If you want to invest in a property but can’t afford to get a foot on the ladder on your own, sharing the purchase with a family member might be one way to benefit both of you. This can make the deposit, repayments and other ongoing costs much more feasible. Obviously, any property investment requires thorough research in terms of the area, rental demand, and ongoing costs.
A shared property investment also calls for a documented agreement to set out the terms of the investment, and for selling further down the track. With the right terms and protections in place, sharing an investment property is perfectly doable. Not only does this lessen the risk for everyone, but it creates long-term financial prosperity for the family.
Carpool as a Family
When you’re travelling together as a family, why not carpool? The cost of transportation can be expensive, especially if you have to pay for parking, fuel, and more. If you’re able to carpool, this saves you a lot of time and money. Even more important, it’s good for the environment.
Where can you carpool? Consider carpooling children to school, family members to holiday events, and even on shared holidays. When you carpool as a family, you limit the number of cars on the road while coming closer together.
Plan for the Future
Another important step to save money is to actively plan for the future. This involves a lot of different steps, and it’s far from one-size-fits-all. You want to make sure you’re ready for the future, no matter what the future brings. Here are some ways to plan ahead:
- Check-in with your current Super contributions
- Make sure you’re on track for retirement
- Build your emergency fund
- Have a plan for what to do if you face an unexpected bill
- Create a will and estate plan
It’s important to make sure you’re ready for anything. We can’t know what the future will bring. The more you prepare your finances and your assets, the better equipped you and your family will be for anything the future holds. By planning for the future, you get peace of mind today.
Enjoy a Family Holiday
Many families travel far and wide for holidays, but this can get expensive quickly. While you shouldn’t completely give up travel that’s within your budget, enjoying a family holiday helps you save big. You can save together by sharing a home rental, splitting travel expenses, and planning events together.
It’s much easier to secure a better deal for a large group than for a small family. When you come together for a family holiday, you make great memories without breaking the bank. Take turns choosing destinations every year, and cut costs together.
Keep Celebrations Simple
Last but not least, keep your family celebrations simple. While birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries are a time to celebrate, this doesn’t mean you should blow your budget. You can keep celebrations simple by agreeing on some guidelines as a family. For instance, you might trade gifts, make gifts at home, or skip gifts altogether.
These important celebrations and milestones are about more than material things. They’re a chance to come together and create new memories. Instead of going overboard, have celebrations at home, share food with friends and family, and keep costs low.
Get Your Family Back on Track
Working with your family can help save you money in a number of ways. The important point to remember is that taking that first step is essential if you want to regain financial freedom.
We know that everyone is different and we’re here to help! We’ll take the time to get to know you, understand your challenges and treat you as an individual. Get in touch with us and start your new financial direction today with our proven debt solutions. Call us on 1300 368 322, start an online chat with us or fill in the contact form below to arrange a call back.