Starting a family can be a momentous decision, and naturally, there is a lot more to consider than just the financial aspects alone. Even so, perceived financial barriers do hold many of us back from starting our family when we’d ideally like to, opting instead to work for a few more years and put together a bigger safety net for you, your partner, and your future children to fall back on if it’s needed. 

So how can you develop and maintain spend-savvy strategies as you prepare to start a family or whilst your children are still in their early developmental years? In this article, we aim to position you and your family for financial success so you can build healthy habits and inspire your kids to do the same as they grow older. 

Budget for your finances (i.e. mortgages and loans)

All families can expect to take on a certain amount of debt. Your major sources of debt will take one of two forms: a home loan, and a car loan. The home loan is self-explanatory, so let’s focus on the car loan. 

You’ll need a car to get your family around, whether for school, work or extracurricular activities. For big or even growing families in particular, investing in a reliable people mover is simply non-negotiable. And when you consider the improved safety ratings on newer vehicles, splurging on a new car feels extra sensible, to say the very least.

As you’d expect, car loans allow you to make smaller payments in either monthly or fortnightly sums. A complementary benefit of this type of loan is it typically improves your credit score for future financial decisions. In other words, taking out a car loan and managing it well may help you apply for larger loans (like a home loan) later down the line.

New car loans are typically available for vehicles that are up to three years old. If you’re looking to buy a secondhand vehicle, however, there are even used car loan options that are on offer for older models of up to twenty years old.

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you can even apply for a green car loan, a pure electric vehicle that reduces carbon emissions and cuts running costs. 

Consider making voluntary superannuation contributions

If you’re saving up for your pension by investing with a superannuation fund, then consider making top-up contributions wherever possible. Top-up contributions are contributions that are made to your super balance. This is especially a good idea if you’re working part-time, casual/contract or taking leave from the workforce. 

The benefit of investing in your superannuation now is simply that a greater investment today will naturally grow ever larger tomorrow. Now compound that with the next thirty-odd years, and you’ll have a nice little nest egg waiting for you come your retirement years. Small savings make a big difference, especially when that difference can mean increasing your retirement savings in the long haul. It might feel like a long, long time away, but starting early can certainly do no harm.

Create a family financial plan

Financial planning is all about making your goals as a family both actionable and achievable. If you have your hopes set on owning a home one day, or if you’re considering starting a business or taking a financial leap, family financial planning is an essential tool that will mark the steps you need to take to get there. This type of planning is all about setting goals and seeing them through. 

You can start by calculating your family budget so you’re on top of your expenses. Then determine what your financial goals are as a family - in particular, think about your long-term family goals, such as saving for university funds or paying off debt. Then allocate your goals to a percentage metric, such as the 50-30-20 rule or another money-saving strategy, and divide your savings amongst these percentages. 

Build an emergency fund

Following on from the previous tip, building up an emergency fund should be a priority for all new and expectant parents. This fund accounts for any unprecedented, unruly events, such as property damage or medical emergencies. This will save you from financial stress, or even tripping into debt as a result.

Thankfully, most diligent lifelong savers should already have a sizable emergency fund to their name. If that’s the case, then all you need to do is combine your assets with your partner to make sure that your family has access to those collective funds.

Once the funds have been combined, consider keeping your emergency fund in a separate savings account. That way, you can accrue interest on your fund and it can thus grow itself – a game changer for busy parents! You don’t need to fork out hundreds of dollars, either. Start small and build your wealth over time. 

Invest in insurance 

Insurance is important and should be considered and evaluated by every family to protect loved ones and their financial assets. 

There are different types of insurance. Below, we’ve compiled a list: 

  • Life insurance ensures your family’s financial security in the event of your death is covered with a lump-sum payment. Both partners should consider this insurance type.
  • Income protection insurance replaces your salary in the event of illness or injury which prevents you from working.
  • Health insurance helps cover medical expenses and offers subsidies on pharmaceutical products.
  • Home and contents insurance protects your home and assets from damage or theft-related incidents.

Manage your debt

Although it’s easy to procrastinate or forget about handling debt, managing your debt will lift the financial weight from your shoulders. Debt is a common challenge for young families, but it doesn't have to be a life-long plough through the trenches. 

When managing debt, ensure that you prioritise paying off high-interest debt (anything above the average interest rates for mortgages and student loans, for example) such as debt from a credit card. By eliminating the beast of your debt, you’re minimising interest costs. 

Assess your existing loans and explore refinancing options. This will make all the difference between paying higher or lower interest rates, the former of which could burden you with hundreds of thousands of dollars. 


It is a fact of life that families must navigate the highs and lows of financial stability. By implementing small daily financial habits into your family’s life, not only are you advocating for your family’s financial independence, but you’re teaching your children to do the same.