Although family members use their income and make financial decisions jointly, it is generally more efficient if one person assumes the routine responsibility of money management: paying bills, balancing the checkbook, handling money and keeping records. The individual with more knowledge and skills for this task should be the main money manager. Adult family members may want to alternate the money management routine periodically. This is an opportunity to appreciate the rewards, and sometimes hassles, of the responsibility.
Set up a money management center to keep all records and supplies in one place. Include these important materials:
• Spending plan and past spending records
• Bills and receipts
• Checkbook, bank statements and canceled checks
• Charge slips, charge account and bank card statements
• Savings account records
• Income records such as paycheck stubs, Social Security records and pension receipts
Getting the most from your income requires careful planning and wise spending decisions. A spending plan based on what your family considers to be most important can help balance spending with available income and resources. Keeping track of spending will help ensure that money is available for the things your family needs most.