Thursday March 6, 2014
While we might think banking is a relatively boring topic, our kids who are not familiar with it are more than eager to learn. I learned this first hand when I took my son to his first credit union annual meeting.
We had already been doing the save, deposit, balance the checkbook routine, but had not moved beyond the basics. Then when our credit union's annual meeting came around they had special kids activities and I thought it would be good for him to see the business side also. Plus he wanted to go, because they had special kids prizes!
Once we were there I was amazed at how many questions he asked about not only the business side, but banking in general. He was intrigued by all the statistics and information they provided.
So what should you take from this? Kids are very interested in how things work, and have yet to build up the lack of desire to pay attention to money, so utilize the time you have while they are young. Start teaching them about money management today. Need a bit of extra help? This is one of the nice benefits of credit unions for kids - extra education and opportunities to interact.
So go ahead and take your kids to a boring business meeting or head to the bank - they will enjoy it more than you think.
For more reasons on why a credit union might be better than a bank, check out: Five Reasons a Credit Union is Good for Your Kids Savings
Tuesday March 4, 2014
As parents, we want our kids to have healthy lunches, without making us go broke in the process! We go back and forth on sending a home made lunch or letting them eat the school lunch, cause we are never quite sure what the best way really is.
Here is some insight into what I do and how to keep the costs down when putting together a low cost brown bag lunch.
My son gets one fruit, one veggie, and either a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or plain lean turkey. His drink is water, except for special occasion. Using almost all organic, when available, his lunch typically costs me about $2.40 per day. A touch more expensive than school lunch - but higher quality ingredients.
Here is how I keep these costs down:
- The easiest way to keep costs down is to control grocery costs! Use coupons, shop sales and for non perishable items buy in bulk. I am also very conscious of the varying prices of my regular items. While I am not one for driving all over the city to chase prices, if there is enough of a difference and the drive is not far, I ensure I go get the cheap version.
- Use leftovers - this is a great way to not only use up the food we buy but to save time. Repackage the prior nights meal so that you can send it to school the next day. Some schools offer a microwave, otherwise use insulated packages to send lunch in. This is mainly what I do for my husband and I, saves a bunch for out to eat lunch expenses.
- Focus on simple meals that cover all the basics - lean protein, carbohydrates and a fruit and veggie. It really does not need to be fancy, just healthy and not crazy expensive.
Here are some more resources for you to use when making lunches and figuring out your costs.
How to Figure Out What is Cheaper: School or Sack Lunch
Brown Bag Lunch Recipes
School Lunch Ideas
Wednesday February 26, 2014
According to TD Ameritrade sixty-one percent of kids in the Generation Z group (teens and early 20's) say their parents are the number one resource for financial education. While this might seem overwhelming, I know it can for me, it is possible to give your kids the right tools to become financially successful.
The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and mentally prepare yourself for the idea that you might not know everything that they ask. It is okay to say that is a great question, let's go look up the answer together.
The next thing to do is begin gathering resources that you can use to help you teach your children about money and then start teaching!
Following are some resources that you can start to use:
First Step in Teaching Kids About Investing
Top Ten Websites for Teaching Kids About Money
Compare Prices on Books for Teaching Kids
Monday February 24, 2014
There are many tools to save for college that you should think about, especially outside of the traditional methods. Some ideas to think about:
- Educational Savings Account - gotta include some of the regular ideas!
- 529 - please do not consider the pre-paid plans. You do not want to lock your child into a specific state school.
- Roth IRA - you can use these to save and then take out your contributions for college.
- Taxable Accounts - yes you read that right taxable accounts. Once you have maxed out some of your other options, or if you are not sure your kids will go to college, then you might want to consider this as an option.
There are many options to begin saving for your child's education. Evaluate your options and get started today!