Did you know that current estimates show it costs about $233,000 to raise a child from 0 to 18 in the United States? One child.
Add on a second or third child, plus unforeseen expenses, illnesses, a new house, and a handful of family vacations. It’s easy to see why money is one of the biggest things that couples argue about in a marriage.
Figuring out how to talk about money in a relationship is only part of the battle. You’ll also need to develop a plan of action that will allow you and your extended family (children, in-laws, etc.) to engage in healthy financial planning and family credit management. Here’s how.
Develop a Financial Plan
If you’re already married and are thinking of starting a family, chances are that you’re doing some sort of planning. Even if you already have kids and they’re getting to the age where you’re starting to teach them healthy money habits, it’s great to go into the process with a plan.
First, work towards identifying your personal financial personality. You and your partner might have different personalities, and hopefully, you spoke about this before making a commitment. Do you love to spend, and he likes to save? Is one more inclined to save for one big yearly vacation while the other prefers to save for smaller repairs around the house that add to the home’s value?
Figure this out and then figure out how you’d like to raise your kids. Then, convey this to your extended family. If your mother-in-law depends on you financially or you’re currently supporting your brother because he lost his job, let them know what’s going on and how this will play into your financial plan.
Get Your Accounts in Order
While your credit scores don’t merge when you get married, each partner’s credit score undoubtedly affects the other’s. This is especially true if you’re buying a home or taking out any other type of big loan. So, you both must know where you’re at to get the family on the same page.
Family credit management starts with understanding where each partner is at. Make a list of your open accounts, individual and joint accounts, and see what you owe. Create a budget to plan for how you can pay off debt and what that might entail, whether that’s taking on a freelance job or cutting back expenses in certain areas.
If you have children, make sure to factor in their expenses and accounts as well, depending on how old they are. If you have good credit, consider adding them as authorized users to your current accounts. This can help them build their credit while they’re young.
Access Tools for Family Credit Management
Once you have a good idea of where your family stands financially, you’ll need to look for tools to help you with family credit management.
A budget planner is one vital tool as it will help you budget your income and expenses effectively. While this won’t help you plan for unexpected costs such as a medical emergency or provide financial care for a family member, it will allow you to bulk up your savings as you improve your credit score.
On top of that, getting a credit monitoring app is a good idea as well. It’s hard to optimize your credit if you’re not sure where you currently stand. Look for an app that updates automatically to provide you with an accurate overview of your score. It’s even better if the app shows you what’s affecting your score and provides tips on how to improve it.
The one feature that’s going to be essential as part of family credit management is the ability to share your credit scores. That’s where Float comes in!
Easily Share Your Credit Score with Family
Float is the only credit app that allows you to share your credit score with family and friends. Not only that, but we give you the freedom to choose how much you want to share.
If you’re working on family credit management, you’re able to share your full credit score with your spouse and then share a credit range or an emoji indicator of your score with your in-laws, siblings, and even your children.
This makes it easy to monitor credit across a family. You can see where others are at, help them improve their credit score, and celebrate their wins.
Sign up today to see how it works and access your credit score for free.