Making Ends Meet

1. Your Family Goals

Before you begin to divide up your income, you will want to think about your family goals. What is important to you and your family – your values – will influence the goals you set for using your money.

Your family probably has a number of goals that require money. Talk over family goals for using money and try to identify the ones that are most important to your family.

Some goals may take a short time to reach, while others may require a longer time, maybe even several years. Family goals will change from time to time. Therefore, every now and then, review your goals to see if they are still important to family members.

Identifying Family Goals

Have you ever talked together, as a family, about the goals of each person and the family for using money? The following activity may help you identify some of your most important individual and family goals.

1. Ask each family member to write down his or her goals that require money. The goals can be individual or family goals. They can be desired soon or in the future. (See the following example.)

The things or goals that I would like to have or do are —

  1. make money last until the next pay period
  2. have a sofa that makes into a bed
  3. pay all the bills.

2. Then, each family member should mark each goal he or she has written down, indicating which ones are most important:

*** three stars if it is something that the family or a family member must have or do.

** two stars if it is something that is needed or wanted, if the family can possibly find the money, but could be put off for a while.

* one star if it is something that would be nice to have or do, but could be put off for quite awhile or could even be given up entirely. (See the following example.)

The things or goals that I would like to have or do are —

  1. make money last until the next pay period ***
  2. have a sofa that makes into a bed **
  3. pay all the bills. *

3. Next, one person should collect each family member’s list and make one list with goals that are alike grouped together.

4. Once the goals are all listed, family members should discuss each one and agree on its importance to the family.

5. Finally, the information obtained through discussion and agreement on family goals can be used to complete the following chart.

Our Family Goals

To Accomplish This Year Estimated Cost How To Reach Goal *
1. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
2. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
3. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
To Accomplish in the Next 5 Years Estimated Cost How To Reach Goal *
1. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
2. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
3. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
To Accomplish in More Than 5 Years Estimated Cost How To Reach Goal *
1. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
2. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________
3. ___________________________ _____________ ______________________________

* Examples: save each pay period, work overtime, use income tax refund, etc.

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