financial security

7 Key Elements to Building Financial Security

When we were young and didn’t have kids, financial security meant we had enough money to pay our rent and go out with our friends on the weekend—and hopefully stash a little extra for a rainy day. But when we become fully grown men and start families, our priorities and concerns change drastically.

We can reduce monetary stress and worry by wisely creating a financial plan and sticking to it.One of the highest factors of stress in men is worrying about the future and our financial needs. We can reduce monetary stress and worry by wisely creating a financial plan and sticking to it. Each family’s needs are different and the circumstances vary. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. But there are key elements of financial planning that can help us all to build financial security. Here are 7 of them.

1. Get professional help.

Most of us who don’t work in the financial industry truly know little to nothing about how money actually works. We need help. The choices for who can help us are plentiful, but it’s important to find a source you are comfortable with and trust. Dave Ramsey offers Financial Peace University, which teaches common sense and lessons on money management. Churches throughout the United States host the program. No matter to whom you choose to turn for help, just be sure to check their references and seek their clients’ testimonies.

2. Get insured.

Secure term life insurance, health insurance, home insurance, and automobile insurance (both collision and liability). It’s a lengthy list, but we need it all. One of the reasons we get stressed is because we worry about things that could happen. That’s exactly what insurance is for. Once again, find a professional you trust and get your family covered so you can sleep peacefully at night.

3. Create a well-funded savings account.

An old and wise formula for money management is 10-10-80. Tithe the first 10 percent of everything you make. The second 10 percent goes to savings. You live off the remaining 80 percent. Following this formula faithfully results in financial success. Savings are critical for extra expenses that seem to come in rapid-fire succession as our families grow.

4. Reduce and erase debt.

Debt is a burden that keeps our finances from growing while also weighing heavily on our minds. We must do everything we can to eliminate it. Financial planners and credit counselors can help us achieve this.

5. Invest for retirement.

The point of investment is to gain a return that will outpace inflation. How one goes about that is varied and best left to trusted professional guidance. It is essential to have a healthy and robust retirement investment plan so that we may enjoy our later years.

6. Plan for your children’s needs.

Will they go to public school or private? What about college? Do you have daughters whose weddings you’d like to pay for someday? Our children have needs and those needs are always changing as they grow. As parents, we hope to meet them—not to spoil our kids, of course, but to provide for them in ways that set them up well for the future.

7. Have a will.

All of our planning is worthless unless we have specifically and carefully planned out exactly what will happen when we are no longer here. Putting together a will can be done online rather easily. But for more complicated affairs, it is wise to seek a professional’s help. When we plan for the things on this list and top it off with a will, we can be assured that our wishes will be carried out and that financial stress doesn’t haunt us.

Sound off: What is the best financial advice you ever received?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “If you had $100 to save or spend, what would you do with it?”