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Jan 4, 2022

The year for new money experiences

New year. New start. New goals. When it comes to money goals, we’ve got one simple resolution for you that lasts all year long: Do money together as a family! 

That's right. Let 2022 be the year for new money experiences. Share the everyday stuff, like grocery shopping, paying bills, the works — and see how the big stuff, like saving, investing and long-term planning, fits in your lives today. Excited for real-world skills for your family? Read on for activities you can do together. 

1) Find a way to save money together.

As a family, make a pact to spend less on something that you really don’t need… and instead, save for something you’d value together much more. Evaluate expenses so that you know how much they’re adding up — and if you think it’s worth it. 

Maybe you cut back on takeout (See ya, meal delivery!) or go a month without a TV streaming service or two. How much do you miss these things? Not much? That’s money saved. 

2) Buy groceries together.

Everyone needs to grocery-shop at some point. Why not start as a family? Give kids a grocery takeover. Talk about the grocery budget and what it will cover. Get specific: Like how many meals, how long the snacks should last and any health requirements. 

Come up with a meal plan and shopping list. Then, review all the tips and tricks on ways to save, like store discounts and unit price comparison. (Hint: you can usually find this on the price label). Maybe throw in a cooking lesson while you’re at it!

3) Pay the bills together.

Turn it into a challenge! See who can guess the monthly cost of different bills in the family budget, like internet, cable, car insurance or electric. Nope, it doesn’t come free. Show how a bill arrives and how it’s paid from your accounts. Talk about bill pay automating if you have it, and why that’s good for your money (saving time and protecting credit, too). 

Bonus: Choose a variable bill to track monthly over time — like electricity. And see how usage impacts the amount due. Want to save even more? Try to reduce consumption and notice changes. Here are 24 tips to help you save on your energy bill (and help the environment while you’re at it!)

Illustration of stock market bull and bear

4) Invest together!

Now that parents can invest with Greenlight along with their kids, it’s a great year for your family to start. Why invest? Well, the longer an investment grows, the greater chance of earning higher gains over time. 

Since you’re already saving (see #1), divide up your family savings and ask everyone to pick a new company or ETF to research (we’ve got you covered with expert research in the Greenlight app.) Then, have a family investing night. Research, queue the countdown and finally… invest! Keep track of the value of your investment and compare notes over time.

Illustration of roller skating

5) Get away together.

Behind every fun family outing or trip together, there’s a plan and a cost. Put the kids in charge of a portion of the fun budget — for a one-time event or a regular thing. 

Explain the steps needed to plan the activity and estimate the costs. Roller skating, anyone? There’s not just admission, you may need to rent skates, too. (Don’t forget the nachos.) What about a weekend day trip? You’ll need transportation, and maybe advance tickets, too. Do you need to start a fun fund? See #1 for saving tips!  

6) Think long-term together.

Yes, it’s important to set financial goals for the new year. But, you can  take it a step further. What’s the 5, 10, 15 year plan for each family member? For kids, the list may include higher education, a new vehicle, a travel adventure or a first home. 

Do some research on your ideas. You can look at specific colleges (and costs!) and why now’s the time for kids to think about saving. Or, explore the cost of homes — and how it differs by location. It’s our goal EVERY YEAR to prepare you for financial health and happiness, and that’s something you can start now.

Goals are better together and talking about money at home is so important for financial futures. Ready to get started? You’ve got everything you need. Queue up the convos and enjoy. Happy 2022! 

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