Can you imagine a life without financial stress? It is possible when you utilize our Family Financial Planning Guide.


The Certified Financial Planners and coaches at The Complete Money, Truth & Life Mastery Program exist to serve individuals of all ages to replace money behaviors that don’t serve them, with a set of wise, wealth-building skills and behaviors. By educating people about money, people discover the power to make money decisions in their best interest and take steps to create a secure financial future for themselves and their families.

For more details on how to create a Family Finance Plan, see our other article called How to Plan Personal and Family Finance.

In this article let’s explore what’s included in the Family Financial Planning Guide.

The guide contains three major sections: NOW, SOON, and LATER. Each section addresses how you plan for specific types of expenses that occur within your life and depending on the timeframe of those expenses.


Family Financial Planning Guide: NOW Section

Within the NOW section, you will focus on paying off any debt you may have and start to think about how to fund your current lifestyle.  The NOW timeframe refers to expenses within a given month and/or quarter.

Step 1: Assess your monthly expenses by category:

  • Category 1: DEBT – List out all the expenses you still owe. Include things like, mortgage payments, school loans, car payments, credit card payments, any other outstanding loans, etc.
  • Category 2: BILLS – List out your normal monthly expense such as utility (electric, gas, water, trash) payments, phone (land line and mobile), association dues (if any), TV or Cable, Internet service, health insurance payments, etc.
  • Category 3: LIFESTYLE – List out expenses related to entertainment and/or travel that occur regularly during the month. Include items such as dining out, going to the movies, seeing a play, going to play golf, etc.

Step 2: Identify Your Income Streams

  • List all the income you receive in a given month. Your salary, the salary of your partner or spouse. Any income received from an annuity. Any child support or alimony payments, etc.

Step 3: Allocate income to each category of expenses.


Family Financial Planning Guide: SOON Section

The SOON section focuses on items you’re planning for that require a financial investment. Things like traveling, buying a new car, arranging a special occasion, and future income planning.

Think in terms of within 5 years for the time frame of this section.

Step 1: What do you plan to do within the next 5 years that requires financial support?  List out your answers along with an estimated dollar amount to support that item.

Step 2: Identify the monthly amount to set aside in order to fund a Freedom Account that will financially support these items when the time comes. Start by adding up all the amounts to identify the total amount needed. Take the total amount and divide it by 12.  That amount is the monthly amount you should allocate to fund the Freedom account. A Freedom Account is simply a separate account that is used to track expenses related to SOON category expenses.

Step 3: Add the amount to your NOW section as a new category called FREEDOM.



Family Financial Planning Guide: Later Section

The LATER section of the Family Financial Guide covers longer term items such as educational funding, future income planning, long-term care decisions and more.

This sections timeframe looks at the longer-range expenses within 6 to 10 years from now.

Step 1: List out all the items and the dollar amounts needed for these long-range items.

Family Financial Planning Guide: Long-Range Items Chart

Long-Range Items Amount Needed
Educational Funding $30,000
Future Income Planning $500,000
Long-Term Care Planning $400,000

Step 2: Brainstorm a list of options for funding these items. Write down all possibilities, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Don’t be critical of your ideas, just write them down.

There are only three ways to gain more income:

  • Make more money with a side job.
  • Reduce expenses, so your money lasts longer.
  • Sell something.

Think about your skills, talents, and abilities. Also think about your hobbies. Are any of these things something someone might value and be willing to pay you for as a service? Could your hobby turn into a side business? Maybe you could start a business using one of your skills.

You could clean out your garage and find items you’re not using that someone else would love to have. Sell the items and increase your cashflow.

Step 3: Priority the Top 3 methods of funding these items and take action on them.

Step 4: Create a LONG-TERM account.

Step 5: Identify a monthly or quarterly amount to set aside in the LONG-TERM account. To identify a monthly amount, take the total amount divided by 12. To identify a quarterly amount, take the total amount divided by 4.

Additionally, you will benefit by talking with a Certified Financial Planner about other options (life insurance, long-term care insurance, and other investment vehicles) for funding these longer-range items.


Allocate Your Income

You’ve just outlined expenses in three different time horizons. Before we discuss how to allocate your income to cover all those time horizons, we need to talk about the 10 – 10 – 80 Rule of allocating income.

We are to be good stewards of everything God has given to us. That includes the income we make.  Using the 10 – 10 – 80 Rule can help us get in the habit of prioritization.

The first 10% of your income is for tithing or giving.  It’s a way of giving back and demonstration your faith in God as your Provider.

The next 10% goes to your saving account for your cash reserves.

The last 80% you use to pay your expenses and plan for the future.

Remember, NOW is within the current month or quarter. SOON is with the next 5 years. This is considered a Short-Term Goal. The LATER is within the next 6 to 10 years. This is considered a Long-Term Goal.

The next step is to allocate savings portion as follows:

  • 60% to cash reserves until “full.” These cash reserves are going to be used for emergency fund and paying down your debt.
  • 20% to Short Term Goal Funding
  • 20% to Long Term Goal Funding

When cash reserves are “full,” switch to 40% for Short Term Goals, 60% to go Long Term Goals.


Building a Family Financial Legacy

Before you can build a family financial legacy you need to be aware of the differing views of money your family has.  You might benefit from reading Teen Cash book, authored by Judy Copenbarger. It outlines the differing views adults, children and grandchildren have about money and provides a framework to get everyone on the same page regarding their thoughts about money.

Once you know how everyone thinks about money, you can create a financial legacy by teaching your children and/or grandchildren the right way to think about and how to use money that’s glorifying to God.

Remember, learning as a child is usually caught, not taught. So, include them in your family financial discussions.  If you bring them into the conversation early and continue to invite them to participant in the planning process, they will grow up to know what to do themselves.

To help your child understand how the world of money works, you might answer questions like:

  • How much do things cost?
  • How and why do we save money?
  • Where does our money come from?


Develop 3-Part Savings/Spending Plan

Children can learn how to manage their own money and learn how to make financial decisions on their own when giving the opportunity.

One opportunity is to use the same 10 – 10 – 80 Rule for allocating income as mentioned above. Teach your children the importance of giving, saving, and spending wisely.

Another opportunity to learn to be wise with money is through allowances and/or earning chores. What’s the Difference Between Allowances versus Earning Chores?

An allowance is a set amount of money given to your child, in exchange for doing a few or several things around the house.

Earning Chores are specific tasks or chores your child can do to earn a certain amount of money. With earning chores, you specify a task and assign a dollar amount for that chore. An example is to wash a parent’s car for $10.

Regardless of allowance or earning chore you select, be consistent and set clear expectations.

As your child earns money, you can help them understand the basic principles of money.  The importance of giving, saving, and earning will help your child grow into a financial responsible adult one day.

Even better, you can start a Roth for them to invest their allowance earnings. By the time they go to college, they will have increased the value by 100x!

If you’d like help creating a Family Financial Plan, check out the powerfully life-changing Complete Money Truth & Life Mastery Program.

Need More Information

We have crafted a valuable library of family financial planning worksheets. These will help you get organized as you begin the planning process!

You Might Also Like...

man who is good with money holding his wallet
family posing together following a successful financial plan
Father and daughter walking on the beach after following a family finance plan