Many people will experience it. Once you have a little one in the home, it can feel like a switch has been flicked on in the back of your mind. Now, your decisions don’t just affect your life, they affect your family, too. To that end, you might want to commit to being more serious about planning your future.
How does that happen? Well, first of all, you need to know what your goals are and the tools you should aim at them. Here are some of the goals and some suggestions to go with them:
Getting Out of Unplanned Debt
First of all, you should consider the short-term goals. Most short-term goals are going to involve removing obstacles that could pose a danger to your wellbeing if they’re allowed to linger for too long. One of the easiest obstacles to identify and to work to eliminate is that of unplanned debt.
Most adults have some forms of debt, be it credit cards or mortgages, and they are not all the same evil. However, if you have more debt than you planned to maintain, you need to start looking at where to make savings and how to earn more money in order to get that debt out of the way. It may even rely on tactics like debt consolidation if it is particularly unmanageable.
Finding the Next Step in Your Career
Planning your next career step is a good example of a short-term goal that is also a long-term goal. You might not know exactly what your career will look like in twenty years, but you can be sure that you won’t have any control over that if you’re not already planning for the next step.
Look at the next promotion you want to get, the next duty, or the next skill you want to learn. It might even be as drastic as changing your career path. Once you know what you want your career to look like in the next two or three years, you can look at what lessons and connections you need to make it a reality.
Buying a House
A good mid-term goal is making sure that you and your family have a roof over your head that you earn. Of course, this means also identify where you want to live, and figuring out what it will take to own property in that area, which can also be tied to short-term career and financial goals. From there, you need to make sure you have what you need to apply for a mortgage, such as improving your credit score and putting together the downpayment necessary.
Not every family needs to own property, but it can help you safeguard your family’s position to some degree to own assets that you can rely on should those inevitable surprises cause you to change your course.
Ensuring Your Retirement
The long-term financial goals are just as important to have some idea of. They might be a long ways off just yet, but the more you put them off, the harder they are going to be to achieve. One such goal is to make sure that you have the finances in place to allow yourself a retirement. Many people will cobble their retirement savings together through their career, but there are other options that can help you live in more comfort.
For instance, starting to put your savings towards mutual funds and other investments from an earlier age typically sees you able to enjoy much greater returns later in life. You don’t need to be earning a lot right now, you just need to put aside a little of what you do earn and start doing it as soon as possible.
Taking Care of Your Kids Financially
Once you do have some assets to your name, be it property, vehicles, investment funds or otherwise, you need to make sure that they are protected regardless of what may come. If something were ot happen to you and your partner, you would want to make sure that your children are taken care of.
For that reason, it’s wise to take a closer look at online wills and trusts as soon as you can, rather than leaving them for too long. It’s best to have some plans in place while you have a little, so you can easily update them as your assets grow, rather than leaving it up to fate.
Keeping the Respectful,Communicative Household
Not all goals are financial, of course. You might also want to consider the goals of how you and your family are going to live and enjoy your day-to-day life. For instance, you might want to look at the way that families you know behave and what you don’t want to emulate from them.
Argumentative, disrespectful, and uncooperative families aren’t hard to find. However, to build the opposite, it needs to start with the adults and how you communicate. If you learn to cooperate better as parents, it’s easier to encourage children to cooperate with you, too.
Maintaining an Active Spiritual Life
Though it’s not a goal that all families have, if you want your children to grow up with the same commitment to spirituality or religion that you do, then you might want to look closer into how you can make it an important part of their life from an early age.
Getting involved with community initiatives run through your local church, for instance, can help them build the bonds that can sustain their connection to the spiritual part of their community. Of course, as they grow up, they will have to make their own decisions about how much they want to maintain that side of their life. However, if you don’t sustain it when they are young, most aren’t going to even consider it a factor.
One thing your children will appreciate when they are older are their childhood memories. Make the memories last forever by documenting all the special moments with photos and videos—birthday parties, milestones, and even the first day of school. Go the extra mile and schedule a yearly photoshoot with a photographer. We like Twinkle Portraits in Denver! This will ensure the entire family can have quality photos of your children’s growth year-by-year.
Family planning is a lot of big questions and serious thought. There’s not much fun to it. However, it is essential if we want to ensure our children are able to have better lives than we did.
*Photos by Gustavo Fring