3 Things Every Young Family Needs

I have been meaning to write this post for months now #butlife.

It isn’t often that I talk about serious things and me dishing out advice is even more rare. I mean I’ll tell you how to bake cookies but much further than that, your on your own. For some reason giving advice always seems to be a quick way to step on someones toes. In the spirit of honestly I should probably admit that there is a little part of me that could careless if I step on toes, as long as my message is truthful. However, I typically stay in the safety zone on the ol’ blog. Having said all that I will cautiously proceed…

3 things every young family needs to have in place to be prepared for their future.

Russ and I achieved “official” adult status this summer. In my mind we have always been pretty level-headed grownups but this past summer the trifecta was complete. Ever since that moment I knew I wanted to blog about the subject. It’s something that I’ve talked over with friends time and time again. Everyone has the best of intentions, but following through on things you want to do is sometimes the hardest part. Today I want to talk about 3 things that every young family needs to have, especially if they have kiddos.

I’m almost embarrassed over how long it took us to get a will made. Nobody likes to think about needing a will but there is peace of mind that comes with having one in place. Knowing that in the worst case scenario our wishes for the girls future are secure is priceless friends. If you have children I would beg you to put having a will drawn up high on your priority list. You should be the one who decides the future of your children, not a court system playing a guessing game because mom and dad never had a will made.

It may feel like retirement is years and years down the road, it’s not. Being a parent has made me so much more aware of just how quickly the days and weeks pass. Saving for your future needs to start sooner than later friends. Our family achieves this on two different levels. Russ contributes the most he can into his 401k, making sure we take full advantage to what his employer will match. We also invest a chunk of our tax return with our financial adviser every single year. I could come up with entire lists of ways I would rather spend that money and I am NOT exaggerating when I say lists. But if we aren’t saving for our future, who is?

The car breaks down, the refrigerator goes out, your laid off. What do you do? Most people reach for their credit cards, but you don’t have to if you prepare in advance. Russ and I have worked hard to have an emergency savings account. Ideally our emergency savings account has 3-4 months of income in it constantly. It’s the first of our safety nets to catch us when bad things happen. Because we know unexpected expenses are just a part of life.  To get started figure out what you can save weekly or monthly and start setting it aside (where it won’t get spent) until you have 3-6 months of income saved.

We are by no means experts in this area and we don’t have everything figured out, but we are actively putting forth effort. Saving money isn’t easy and it usually requires extra work and sacrifice. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about more “grown up things” when I share how our family thrives on a tight budget. 

What do you think a young family needs to have in place?

Three things every young family needs. My thoughts on this are on the blog today. #beprepared #youngfamily Click To Tweet

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51 thoughts on “3 Things Every Young Family Needs

  1. I agree! Each family needs these things! Ben and I went on our first trip with his work when Ian was 11 months old and I wouldn’t go until we had a will made….just in case something happened to us! Now it just needs to be updated! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Yes! Drew and I had our wills written up when we got married and once the kids were born we had them adjusted to include the kids and who their guardian would be. It’s not an easy conversation, but so important.

    1. Yes! That is a great one. Funny I didn’t think to add it because I FINALLY got a policy of my own earlier this year. I went without it for 5 years after I quit working out of the home.

  3. I need to do a will. I think that is one of those things that we just don’t think about or maybe don’t want to think about. I would add life insurance to this list! Good post, girly!

    1. Oooohhhh! That is a good one. Funny I didn’t think to add it because I FINALLY got a policy of my own earlier this year. I went without it for 5 years after I quit working out of the home.

  4. Great advice! We completed our will when we moved into our new house. We had been talking about it for a while after Noah was born and finally did it. It’s crazy to talk about all the what ifs but it’s so important! And savings are so key! There are many things we wouldn’t have been able to do (and stay out of debt) without the savings we’ve worked hard for!

    1. It is so hard, right?! I remember when we got ours done I couldn’t stop thinking about the what ifs for a week or two. But now I am just so glad knowing that things are in place and there is a plan.

  5. These are such important topics and great tips! We still don’t have a will and that is mostly because we are struggling with who would take our kids if something happened to us. We do though need to put the time in and think long and hard about it so we can make a decision.

    1. That was our EXACT dilemma too. Which made me want to have a will even more if that makes sense. But we finally worked it all out and feel confident with our choice.

  6. This is such great advice! We totally need to do a will. I’ve also heard of a living trust. It’s on our list of things to do. So much yes to a retirement plan. We both have IRAs, and for that matter the girls also have educational IRAs, so that we can get college paid for. This sounds a lot like Dave Ramesy (which we totally need to get back into budgeting).

    1. The lawyer told us we were to poor to worry about a trust, baha ha ha! He said maybe someday, but not now. Dave Ramsey was a HUGE influence on the way we do things, so yes. It definitely stems from him.

  7. Great tips Beth! And thanks for the reminder as I really need to make an appt to update our will. I did not have one in place until after Carly was born if you can believe that!! Now that my oldest two are grown I really need to modify it a bit. Totally agree with these big 3!

  8. Such a hard topic to think about, but SO NEEDED! Thanks for the reminders. Matt and I need to work on our list of “grown up” things too!

  9. I love this post because this is something people rarely think about. We have a will, but it needs to be updated. I’m so thankful I have had a good retirement plan since I started work 14 years ago. I remember when I was signing up for it I didn’t think much of it, but 14 years later i’m super thankful I did!
    And an emergency savings is a huge thing!!! I hate credit cards, and I actually don’t even have one. Brian has a couple but they are put away and we only use them when we are on vacation. We have a savings account that we have worked very hard for and I guess you can say I am proud of us for putting money away each week from our paychecks into that account. You never know when something may happen.

    1. I hate credit card debt too. We actually have one that we use frequently, but it is paid off every single month, we only use it for the rewards points. I realize though that this is not a good plan for some who may not prioritize paying it off so I would never recommend it, especially to young kids, lol. You are SO right. You just never know.

  10. Before we go to Mexico we are taking care of 1. James has 2 set up through work but obviously I don’t have anyone paying into a retirement with me (SAHM con) but we do allot a bit of monthly income to put into savings so that I have something. I may go back to work one day and that would obviously be helpful. And 3, we are slowly working on this. You know the desires of my heart and how I want to move. We have what it takes to do so but we don’t want to take too much from our savings to do so so we shall wait it out a bit longer.

    1. That is such a good idea friend. It is hard that SAHM’s dont get retirement plans, right? That is why we invest some of our tax return every single year. I have some from when I was working, but obviously it’s not enough. I fully think your patience will pay off friend.

  11. I loved this post, Beth! B and I do have a will, but we need to make some changes to it. We also have a vague retirement plan, but we do need to do some work on that as well. The one thing we DO have in place for certain is emergency savings. This one is SO important because you just never know what life is going to throw at you! Such great advice!

  12. Oh this is something I love reading about- money matters! I need more tips up my sleeve because being money smart is so important.
    How did you draft your will? Online or in-person with a lawyer? I dont even know where to begin, actually.

    1. We found a lawyer to do it for us. We looked into doing it online but honestly it was every bit as cheap to go to an office for us. I think that would be something to compare before doing it though.

  13. Oh friend! Nathan and I need to have a will drawn up. Thatโ€™s such a daunting and depressing task, though. But, we need to get over it because Mason is worth it. I donโ€™t even know how to go about doing this!

    1. It IS! Actually I walked around in a bit of a funk after we had ours done. But man now I feel so much better. To start out we just made some phone calls. We wanted to compare pricing on having it done at an office or doing it online. For us it was just as cheap to do it in person.

  14. We’ve “checked off” items 2 and 3 off your list but still have yet to set up a will. It’s something that honestly haunts me often that we aren’t set up yet. The biggest barrier we have is who we want to have be the guardians of our girls. It’s hard because choosing who will be the best fit is a challenge – I don’t get along extremely well with my family but I trust their parenting style more that Thomas family. I know it’s a safe guard and we won’t have to deal with the “repercussions” of who choose or rather don’t choose but it’s still a huge road block for us!

    1. Ashley I TOTALLY understand. That is exactly why it took us so stinking long to have ours made. It is such a heavy, heavy decision but ultimately for us it came down to us wanting to be the ones to make it. So we had lots of hard talks.

  15. We could definitely improve in all of these categories. I felt very adult like when we updated our life insurance for all of us a few months ago. I’m intimidated by writing out a will, but I know it needs to be done. Thanks for the gentle reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You are welcome friend. It was not an easy thing to do and honestly it kind of put me in a bit of a funk for a week, but now I feel so much better and at ease.

  16. We’ve had these in place for almost as long as we’ve been married, but it took us a little longer to update the will and life insurance after Julia was born. That second child struggle is real. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, thankfully, we’re all up to speed with all three categories now.

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