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You and your family must secure your finances. If household finances aren’t under control, you run the risk of going into debt and all sorts of problems. It can seem overwhelming to secure your finances if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, you aren’t alone. Many households are trying to do the same, and there are loads of resources to help you get started, such as this article. Let’s dive in.

1. Sort Out Debts

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One of the most effective ways for you to secure the finances within your household is to get ahead of your debts. It’s likely that you have debts of some form, as they can come in the form of good debt vs bad debt. Good debt refers to planned and budgeted debt that benefits your long-term financial position. For example, a mortgage is considered good debt. Bad debt refers to general loan repayments and luxury subscriptions you’ve fallen behind on.

Good debts usually have a solid repayment plan in place that is agreeable to all parties. With that said, it’s important not to fall behind on any repayments. If you do, you could bring on further interest and repayments down the line. Bad debts, on the other hand, don’t usually have a repayment plan in place, as it’s likely you have already fallen behind.

When it comes to sorting your debts, there are a few ways for you to do this. For example, you could get into contact with the company you owe money to, and discuss your future options. You could find out what sort of timescale you have to pay it off, and how much the total will be after interest. It is in your best interest to contact them early because if you don’t, they may assume you aren’t able to pay it off and could end up going to the courts.

There are guides that cover how to become debt free. These expert guides can help you become financially independent and secure your household’s finances. Learning how to become debt-free will serve you well on an independent scale, not just the household. Research the different methods, and you will be set well going forward.

2. Take On Extra Jobs

It may not be exciting, but you can secure your household finances by increasing your actual income. You could do this by asking your employer for extra work or even a pay rise, if you feel like it is deserved. Alternatively, you could look for a second job, on a part-time basis, to help boost your income. This doesn’t have to be for a long time, it could just be for a few days, weeks, or months until you feel more financially secure.

It doesn’t have to just be you that is doing this, however. You could also speak to everyone else who is an adult within the home, and find out if they have any room to take on new jobs and help the overall household income. This could help the entire household get ahead of the finances.

If you and your family operate a family business of some kind, then it could be worth looking into ways to enhance the business and expand in general. This would be in the best interests of everyone, and if implemented correctly, could help you secure the finances of your entire household.

Related to this, it could be a good idea to look into ways to cut down on your business’s overhead costs, especially if you and the family operate from home. Sometimes, cutting back on business costs can help bring you back into the green, and improve the overall finances at home, as an added bonus.

3. Cut Back On Luxuries For A While

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While you’re looking to take on extra jobs and build up your income, it could be a good idea to cut back on certain luxuries. These luxuries are likely things you don’t need to have, at least in the short term. You may find that cutting back on them briefly could help you secure your finances for a short while.

Eventually, when your finances are more secure, you may find that you’re back in a position that allows you to have these luxuries again. It may be best to cut back for a while to benefit your family.

Of course, you shouldn’t only look at the luxuries that you usually purchase for yourself, you should also look at the entire family and household. Scaling back a bit of everyone’s luxurious goods and services is likely the fairest way going about things.

There may also be goods and services that you as a whole family could cut back on. Consider what TV subscriptions you are currently signed up to. You may be signed up for services such as Netflix or ESPN, and you will actually be able to cut down on some of these if you don’t use them as much. In general, you will find that some of these services provide cheaper versions that could still give you the service but at a more attractive price point.

4. Be Wary Of Finance Options

Finance options are a popular means of paying for something over a period of time. It is popular with mobile phones, as well as cars. Many individuals can’t afford to purchase a car or a phone outright and will look to pay it off over a few years. This leads to individuals financing their car to allow them to get to and from work without overspending. While this is a useful way of not overspending, it can lock you into a financial agreement over a few years.

As you can imagine, if you enter quite a few of these financing agreements, then you could be putting away quite a bit of your money over a few years. It could even be unsustainable, meaning you have to cancel some financing or miss payments, which could be catastrophic.

For this reason, you should ensure that you are aware of your financing options and don’t get too carried away with signing up for deals. If you aren’t on top of this, you could damage your financial security, rather than strengthen it.

5. Negotiate Household Bills

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It’s certainly worth your time to look at the household bills overall. While you are more than likely aware of them, whether you’re the primary payer or not, it is unlikely that you afford to not pay them. Necessary household bills include mortgage/rent, energy, water, grocery, and even internet to a certain degree.

While you can’t exactly just refuse to pay your energy bills, you may be able to negotiate them. You should consider contacting your energy company and negotiating the bill. In some cases, you may be able to reduce them by around 25%. You can look to swap to a different provider, in which case they may offer you a better deal, or they may offer you a different tariff.

Of course, timing is everything. You may not be able to negotiate certain bills at certain times. For example, during an energy crisis, it’s unlikely you will be able to do much, so you will have to pick the best time. Negotiating your household bills can help your entire household secure its finances and allow you to gain more control overall.