Most adults know that saving is important. We know the difficulties that can arise when an unforeseen event leaves us without resources to cope, and understand that we can achieve major goals by saving. However, not all of us have the habit of saving. We save only small amounts, in a disorderly manner, and always wait for "the next opportunity," making excuses as to how difficult the economic situation is, and the increase on prices of basic products.

If you look carefully and honestly at your own consumption habits, it’s very likely you’ll discover that several of your monthly expenses are not necessary or basic. You will also understand how the lack of organization ends up forcing you to spend more, and the way in which you respond to advertising by buying things that you cannot pay for. Not only we have stopped saving, but we accumulate debts for products or services that we do not need.

This pattern of expenditure not only affects our family economy immediately: it damages our credit record, does not allow us to face true emergencies and becomes a pattern that children learn and will likely repeat when they are adults.

While it is true that there are certain aspects of our temperament that are determined by genetics and biology, what we can control is always more important. Human beings have an impressive ability to learn, and it is scientifically proven that through discipline and goals, we can change our habits permanently.

Saving is one of those activities that should be done routinely. No matter the size of your salary, or if the amount you can save monthly is small; the important thing is to do it in a systematic and orderly manner so that it becomes a true habit.  Thus, not only you'll be imposing a healthy discipline on a personal level, but you'll be setting an important example so that children can acquire this habit at an early age and find it much easier to keep it when they become adults.

The amount to save is a decision that should be made within the family, as well as the discussion about the timing and destination of those savings.  In this way, not only you’ll think about the difficult part saving, but in the huge benefits for all family members. 

Financial security is relevant to all families. Knowing that you have the resources to cover all your needs alleviates stress and allows you to make significant decisions about what you want for your future and that of your family. The concept that we commonly associate with financial security is saving: saving is important to achieve greater benefits, but in itself does not guarantee stability.

To make your money grow and have what you need, not only now but in the future (when you want to retire, or when it’s time for children in your family to go to college), it is important to balance four factors: planning, saving, investment and protection. These four elements are basic to the growth of your resources, so you can get the most benefit from the fruits of your labor. Let’s see in detail what each one of them is about:

Planning

To achieve your goals, it is important that they are clear. What are your goals? For what do you think you'll need your resources? What you will have to carry out to achieve them? Good goals are clear, achievable, measurable and have a time limit. You can set short, medium and long-term goals. It is very important that you follow up your progress and keep the motivation despite the obstacles that may arise.

Planning is essential to know how much to save and how much to invest, to understand how to protect your money and for what you think you’ll use it. Without planning, resources dilute and it is likely that you won’t see the fruits of your labor.

Saving

Once you have established your goals, it is important to know what you need to achieve them. Saving is the key to gather enough resources for your family growth. It is advisable to save between 10 and 15% of your salary, so the amount grows monthly. Establish a discipline related to your savings and try not to touch that money until you meet your desired goals.

In addition to saving, it is important to share the saving discipline with the children in your family. Teach them that in order to achieve important goals, we need to wait and have discipline. This way, when they are older, it will be easier for them to manage their own finances.

Investment

To make your money grow, saving is not enough. There are many ways to invest, and each one has distinct characteristics: higher or lower risk, more performance, different terms, etc. Learning about investment is vital, so you can select the type of investment that suits you and which is best suited to your lifestyle.

Protection

Good management of finances involves the concept of protection. It’s very important to protect your resources: you do not want to lose what you achieved through your hard work. Protection involves elements such as insuring your property and your person, and carrying out the necessary legal procedures so that your money is used as planned. That is why is so important to make a will, or sign a prenuptial agreement if you are going to get married. Remember that you don’t know what will happen in the future and protecting your resources now is the only way to make sure you have them when you need them.