When you are busy raising your children it is all to easy to get distracted by the day to day issues, but it is still important to take a little time to plan your finances. To make this task a little easier I have put together a brief list of the priorities so you can focus on these first.
Make a budget
Admittedly this isn’t an exciting task, but having a good handle on your finances will make life easier. Work out all your fixed outgoings and build in a margin of at least 10% for monthly variations. Don’t forget to include holidays, birthday gifts and other random expenditure, not least the back to school costs.
There are various clever apps than can help with this, but a piece of paper, or just the back of an envelope will do the job too, provided you remember to list everything.
Having a pot of money to fall back on in case of emergency or dire need is a cornerstone of all financial planning. Call it a rainy day fund, or a cash cushion, you should have easy access to monies equivalent to three to six month’s outgoings. Due to potential legal issues in the UAE these monies should be in the wife’s name or preferably held outside of the country.
A will is a way of ensuring that in the event of your death your money and assets go to the right people. Spouses are not automatic beneficiaries and without a legally recognised will you get no say in your financial affairs. Even more importantly you specify who would be your children’s guardians should both parents die.
The process of arranging a will is not as painful as you might imagine and I work with several UAE based lawyers who are experienced in these matters.
Nobody wants to think about dying, but it will happen to us all one day. It is a truly awful thing for a parent to die when they have young and dependent children, but it’s even worse is to leave your family with financial problems. A cash sum from a life policy won’t take away the pain of losing a loved one, but it will give them some financial security and allow them to restructure their lives. It can mean the difference between having to move home, change school and the remaining parent being always out at work or the comfort of familiarity and a healthy bank balance.
Straightforward life cover is not expensive and putting in place a plan to cover your family and dependents is one of the most thoughtful things you can do. You wouldn’t hesitate to insure a car and your family has far more value.
To find out more about how to arrange this, what cover you need and the costs, just contact me without obligation.
Many families are lucky enough to have their school fees paid by their employer, but if you want your children to continue with private education in your home country or to go on to college or university you should ideally plan ahead. Even if an employer is paying for school fees that stops after secondary education and it’s then down to you to dig into your pocket.
University costs can be very expensive and no one wants their child to start their working life with a big debt hanging over them. Many students are leaving tertiary education with large debts, so some forward planning can reduce that.
Of course you’ll also want to plan for your own financial future and that should also be factored in. Many solutions are available, tailored to your particular circumstances.
It can be easier to work with some who is not emotionally involved and so can be objective about your financial situation. My role as an independent adviser is to work with you over the years in order to help you achieve your specific goals. Good planning is not about products, but about solutions and the right advice for you.
To get advice on your family finances, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A slightly different version of this article was published in the August 2014 issue of Good magazine in the UAE and is republished here with permission. http://motivatepublishing.com/magazines/good/