Joining expertise through collaboration can sometimes be as simple as getting family and financial practitioners together to come up with a top-10 list that communicates the joint message about healthy families and finances (Figure 6.) For example, programs can choose healthy financial practices that are relevant to the population they serve or adapt each practice to think about couples and families.
Ten suggestions for a healthy family with healthy finances
- Set common financial goals and formulate steps toward that goal.
- Regularly discuss financial and other goals at home.
- Involve the children in the plan.
- Avoid schemes with high hidden fees, like check cashing stores (use banks), rent-to-own (wait and buy), credit cards.
- Pay yourself first. Put something in your account for your future as you pay others for their services.
- Communicate when there is conflict, with a partner, child, or company.
- Regularly check your and your partner’s credit reports. Free copies can be ordered annually.
- Make sure family receives EITC and any other government benefits.
- Know when to seek assistance. Key times might be when getting married, getting divorced, having a baby or adopting a child.
- Know that there are resources available to help you, regardless of your current financial and family situation.