7400.362 - Family Life Management
School of Family and Consumer
Spring Semester - T-Th 10:45-12:00 Noon
Instructor: David D. Witt, Ph.D.
Saving for Specific Things
Saving for the future needs of your family
requires some fundamental planning and basic habit forming.
These include keeping track of your spending
and simplifying (reducing) your spending. Think of this as dieting.
In order to really lose weight there's watching
your intake and exercise - that's all there is to it - no easy road.
Keeping Track of Spending
The only way to know what you are spending is to keep track of every
This will allow you to see where you are spending money needlessly
A full six months is needed for a diagnosis - and continuing to track
spending is the only real way to
get a handle on were your money goes.
Some spending is seasonal - the holidays, birthdays, special recurring
Some spending is time-related - child-care spending will go away when
Jockomo starts school.
Some spending is sneaky - a toilet that runs or a water supply pipe
that leaks can cost you a dollar a day or more.
Drafty windows let out the air you've spent money
to heat in the winter.
Buying cheaper goods might not save money in the
long run if they need to be replaced sooner.
It goes without saying that you can't deny spending that actually happens.
You have to be honest and firm.
Once you find places to reduce spending, work on them according to your
ability for the next six months.
Limiting Daily, Weekly and Monthly Spending
Here's some of those habits you can learn:
Tips for Being Prosperous in the Future
Carry only the cash you need for that day
Leave ATM cards, checkbooks, & credit cards at
home whenever possible
Recognize impulse spending -- Is it a need or a want?
Allow a cooling off period before before you buy
(at least 24 hours, whenever possible)
Pay attention to where the money goes, track checks,
credit card receipts, & cash receipts
(You may want to group by type of expense)
Shop with a list at all times -- not just at the
Give yourself & other family members an allowance
and stick to it.
Establish a written spending plan and stick to it.
Only allow spending to enter your plan after careful consideration by all
wage earners in the family.
Plan ahead for yearly expenses and save one-twelfth
each month accordingly, in addition to saving for specific goals.
Spend smarter - take advantage of sales, cut down
on credit card usage, avoid impulse buying, comparison shop for everything
from groceries to insurance coverage.
Pay down credit card debt as quickly as possible.
CCCS recommends the "power payment method" -pay extra on the smallest debt
until paid, then pay that extra amount on the next smallest balance, repeating
this practice until all the cards are paid. Reduce the number of cards
as accounts are paid.
Reduce your tax liability as much as possible. Explore
all viable options.
Review spending and savings practices several times
a year to determine where adjustments need to be made. Maintain records
to assist you in assessing variances in spending and expenses.
Couples & Money - 'Til Debt Do Us Part'
Sometimes opposites do attract. Spenders will often
pair with savers - increasing the likelihood for tension over money in
Women generally are the money managers in the relationship
- responsible for budgeting, balancing the checkbook, etc. with little
or no input from their partner. Men tend to involve themselves in longer-term
issues such as investments or insurance, with little or no input from their
Talking about money with or in front of the children
in your home may have been taboo, yet your folks argued about money. By
sheltering you from frank talk about the familyís budget and debt obligations,
you may feel overwhelmed by money issues in the relationship and be unable
to communicate with your partner effectively.
Money causes more arguments than any other family
problem - often leading to various forms of abuse and divorce.
This is my money and this is yours. It is natural
to feel a bit greedy of our income and perhaps even jealous of our spouseís
salary. It is unhealthy to be deceptive and to not equally share the budget
expenses. Chances are that you and your partner have had no money management
Credit Counseling Classes
Discuss financial goals with your partner. Consider
whether one or both of you should work more hours to boost income or fewer
hours to spend more time with your family.
Set savings goals, including an emergency fund to
cover about six months of expenses.
Communicate often about financial matters, especially
as circumstances change, but never when youíre angry. Make a weekly date
to discuss money, and hold all questions until then.
Never make a major purchase without consulting the
partner. Likewise, keep smaller credit purchases to a minimum. Use the
three month rule - if you canít pay off the purchase in three months
- you canít afford it.
Adults need an allowance - cash they can freely spend
without having to answer to the partner for.
Become a savvy consumer - comparison shop, invest
early, save appropriately, spend cash whenever possible, use credit sparingly.
For more information write to our education department
or send us e-mail requesting class schedules or other information.
CCCS | P.O. Box 7789 | Corpus Christi, TX 78467
361.854.4357 | Toll-Free: 877.854.2227 | Fax: 877.851.0247 | email@example.com
Back to Syllabus