Money's Tight - Can I Afford To Protect My Family?

The way you spend your money is about prioritisation.  In an ideal world there would be enough to manage to pay all the essential bills, and at the same time ensure that your key dependents are protected.  However, in some situations it’s impossible to manage both – or at least it seems that way.

It’s really a question of prioritisation.  See the considerations below and then consider your options.

Focus on essentials

Family takes you through the whole spectrum – additions and sad losses, meeting, getting together and splitting up, babies through childhood to adolescence and young adult, through to getting old, retiring and eventually dying. 

Many of these lifetime events have a financial impact, and often it’s as much as you can do to keep afloat. 

Having a Baby

This can have an impact on your relationship – see the info on NCT, which is aimed at getting parents through the first 1,000 days, here


When we lose a family member, it is often difficult to cope with the sheer emotional shock.  There are organisations which can help you, whether it’s the death of an unborn baby (see here) or young child (see here or here) or a sudden death (see here) you can find support. 

Changing Situations

There are times when other things change – or you might want to start making plans and trying to avoid future problems.  You should address any money issues immediately, or they tend to stack up.  This includes talking to partners, family and kids about money and other important things.  It’s also important to make a will, to make sure things go as you want if something happens. Finally, you might have to decide what to do if a relationship ends.

Illness and Care

Illness and disability take many forms, and there is help available whether it’s a severe or minor physical problem (here), a mental health issue (here) or financial problems caused by illness (here)

The Serious Illness Programme UK involves conversations between doctor and patient aimed at agreeing an approach – see here.

If you need care urgently, then enter your location in the NHS website here or if you want an online chat with a doctor, you can use just here

The Money Advice Service have information on the financial aspects of having a baby, and some planners can be seen below under More Info. 

Protect your family

In our simple diagram we use the sink mechanism as a family situation with the 2 taps [taps representing people] showing a couple filling the sink [the sink symbolising a bank account] with earned cash [water symbolising cash]. The taps are full on. At the bottom of the sink is a hole out of which money flows to pay mortgages, bills, running costs, etc etc. The flow of money leaving the sink and flowing into the second sink symbolises life changes: buying new cars, children’s university, the older we become we tend to start to save a little bit of money for the future.

taps showing expenditure and saving insurance

If something happens to the person / people working and they have to stop, then their income reduces significantly.  It’s like turning a tap off, or turning it right down.  What happens? No matter how hard we try, we can’t stop all the outgoings – water still goes down the plughole! So our tank empties – our bank balance falls, and our extras are lost.  Unless we have life or illness insurance that is – when our insurer will give us money and our tank remains full.

taps showing income stopping no insurance

YouDrive thinks....

Family is important to most people.  Only you can answer how important different priorities are for your family – it depends on your circumstances whether you need to focus on the here and now or look to protect your family.

People who looked at FamilyDrive also looked at BudgetDrive and MindDrive.

You’ve seen more detail on the different points of view, and also what YouDrive’s view is.  You can go back to FamilyDrive by clicking the button on the right, or go to Home and then to another Drive.

More information

If you want to consider what impact a baby will have in terms of a timeline – using our tool from Money Advice Service

Look at how to secure your financial future as set out by MAS

See how much a baby costs with this calculator from the Money Advice Service (MAS)

Look at how to work out the costs of Christmas with this MAS calculator

Look at the options for separation / divorce as set out by MAS

Download the School Transition and Adjustment Research Study (STARS) report from UCL and Cardiff University on making the move to secondary school

Download the WiseUp report from the National Childrens Bureau Young Minds on prioritising wellbeing in schools

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