3 Ways to Protect Your Family Financially

Think Thrive 1

By: Sammi Coppedge, Marketing Assistant

As a parent, you want to do everything possible to protect your children. You remind them to look both ways before crossing the street, to never take candy from a stranger, and to always wash their hands before dinner. But have you taken the proper steps to protect your children financially? Here are a few things you should be doing to ensure you have taken the correct measures to safeguard your children financially.

#1 Create and keep your will properly updated

It is the subject no one, and no parent, wants to talk about. However, it is one of the most important things a parent can do in order to protect their children. To some, a will might just be a way to divvy up personal belongings like your beloved baseball card collection, or a family heirloom. However, as a parent, a will is so much more than that. It is the document that designates who will care for your children should you die before they reach legal adult status.  So why’s this important? Well, if you die without a will, not only will your property and belongings be divvied up according to Indiana Intestate Succession Laws, but even more importantly, social services will appoint someone to raise your children. A will can help make sure your children will be taken care of no matter the circumstance. For more information on Indiana Intestate Succession Laws check out this article.

#2 Start educational funds for your children

In today’s age, receiving a college education has become the norm. However, with that norm comes a hefty price tag. Unless you plan on raising a genius or superstar athlete, it is important to start saving for your children’s college education as early as possible. One way to save is through a 529 plan. Typically, 529s have tax advantages, such as earnings that aren’t subject to federal tax. Every little bit counts, so even if you can only put a small amount away every paycheck, it is definitely better than nothing. There are other options, too. First of all, it is important to research all of your options before you start. There are several other educational savings accounts besides 529s which each have their own advantages and disadvantages, it is just up to you to decide which works best for your family. Of course, once your child becomes of legal working age, they can start saving up for college by working a part-time job. Additionally, it is important to search and apply for as many scholarships as possible once your child is about to enter college. Whatever you do, make sure you are taking the proper financial steps to ensure your child with receive the education they deserve with as little a financial burden as possible. For more information on 529 accounts at Thrive Credit Union, check out our IRA page or contact IRA Specialist, Braden Drown at bdrown@thrivecu.org.

#3 Execute and maintain a family budget

As your family grows and your children get older, your financial needs may vary. However, the most important thing is that your family is taken care of. In your budget, you will want to factor in basic needs like food, clothing, and medical costs. However do not forget about the other important things like child care, sports, and other activities. As most parents know, providing for a family gets costly, especially when your family wants to do fun things like zoo visits, football games, and vacations. A budget can provide means to save money for a variety of occasions, as well as help to prioritize what is most important financially. However, when it comes to creating budgets, it is definitely easier said than done. One great way to do this is to sit down with a Thrive Financial Counselor. At Thrive Credit Union, there are several employees who are certified in financial counseling and can assist you and your family to save and budget for all of life’s big events.  Our financial counseling program, Strive to Thrive, is designed to help our members succeed financially. For more information on this program, please visit our Strive to Thrive page.