I am beyond excited to finally share with you our State of the Family Workbook!
First, a little background. David and I started doing this annually a few years back and I shared tidbits with you each time. I thought maybe you’d perhaps giggle and get a kick out of it, but I was not prepared for how many of you wanted to know more! Over the years I’ve received numerous comments and emails asking for details….
How do you set The State of the Family up? What topics do you discuss?
Could you show us how you plan out goals for the year…I’m visual and need bullet points or prompts!
I’d like to know more about how your state of the family meeting works. Can you send me a copy?
I would like to hear more about how you and David set your goals for the year and what happens at the State of the Family meetings.
So interested in your family meeting every year! What do you talk about, personal goals, money, kids?
So much interest! And I get it. Our State of the Family is one of our favorite date nights of the year (even if that date night is at home in pajamas after the kids go to bed). It’s our time to comb through the previous year, address problematic spending, celebrate financial wins, map out the year ahead, and discuss long-term goals and dreams. I wanted to share it all with you so you could do the same in your house! Only, there was one problem. This was David’s brain child. He is the spreadsheet guru around here and always leads this “meeting,” so I knew I’d have to get him on board.
It took a couple years to convince him to turn his evaluation and presentation into a resource I could make available to those of you interested in doing a similar end-of-year comb-through of finances and family goal setting, but now, it’s here!
We have poured time and money into creating this workbook over the past couple of months. It is an interactive, downloadable product with formulas built right into the worksheet (that means no calculator needed for you!). The simple formulas are set up to help capture your full financial picture- total debt, assets, retirement, educational savings accounts, total net worth, etc. After the financials, we lay out the discussion questions we go trough ourselves to look back over the past year and plan the upcoming year ahead.
David also recorded a video to walk you through each step of the process that you will receive access to in an email after purchase. As a one-time purchase, you can use the workbook each year (or twice a year as we sometimes do) or print out copies and keep a running record of your finances and family goals year after year. And now, I will hand this post over to David to tell you more about the State of the Family workbook!
Several years back, Brittany and I knew we were doing the ‘right’ things with money financially- we saved into 401k’s, had an emergency fund, and generally weren’t big spenders. We also discussed long term goals of how we wanted to travel with the girls, and what sort of life we wanted for ourselves in the future.
The real challenge was connecting those two discussions – today’s financial decisions against tomorrow’s goals and dreams. How did we know we would be able to attain the goals we wanted? Are we saving enough for retirement? How much should we pay down loans so we aren’t in debt for the next 200 years?
A few years ago, I finally had enough of the not knowing for sure, and decided to make an ultimate spreadsheet to capture everything. It was everything a nerd could hope for, formulas, tabs galore! Knowing Brittany would not get quite as excited over a hard-to-read spreadsheet, I put it all into a summary form and created the first State of the Family address!
Once the kids were tucked into bed, we walked through the simplified view of where we were as a family. It covered everything from a summary perspective:
- Liquid Assets (cash/credit accounts)
- Real Assets (primarily real estate for us)
- Retirement (summary of those IRA & 401k accounts with projections for when we hit 65)
- Net worth (all of the accounts/assets combined into one final number)
Then we transitioned into the discussion and planning stage – Vacations, Home projects, Kids education/activities. This has proven to be the most valuable part of the State of the Family and definitely why we keep doing it every 6 months or so. It forces conversations about life goals, both long term and short term, and allows us to budget for those large dollar items while our financial picture is still fresh in our minds.
Now that we have done the State of the Family address for a few years, it has gotten much easier to update each time. It is also great to include the past year’s numbers so we can see how much closer we are to our goals. It has become a normal part of our conversations and a great way to start a conversation. Brittany and I worked hard on putting together an interactive form that would allow you to walk through the same process we do and have the same planning meeting as a family! The form will total the amounts for you- and we also have a video walk through once you purchase to help you see exactly how we use the form for our State of the Family!