The Average Family’s Guide To Paying For College

Whether you are just starting to think about having kids or you have a little one in your life already, the issue of paying for college or their higher education is something you have probably started to think about already. After all, it’s not cheap, and prices have increased by over 1000% in the last ten years. In fact, you can expect to pay upwards of $30,000 for a decent private college education, and $9000 for a year at a public college for your offspring. With that in mind, it is wise to begin planning and saving even while the kids are young, so you have the best chance of being able to fund their education later on. Keep reading to find out more.

Get some advice

First, before you start to implement any of your financial plans, it is important that you get some professional advice. Luckily, there are lots of specialist financial planners like Partridge Muir & Warren that can help you work out just how much you need to save, as well as provide suggestion on how to do this.

The good thing about using a professional instead of relying purely on research that you have done for yourself on the subject is that they will be able to take a holistic view and help you realize you other financial goals at the same time. This means you will have a much better quality of life, in addition to being able to help your kids with the costs of being a student.

Start now

Next, it’s vital no matter what your plan is to pay for your kid’s education is, that you start as soon as possible. The reason for this is that it is much easier to acquire a large sum of money over a more extended length of time.

For example, if you choose to invest in the stock market, you would have to find a huge sum to get the return you need if you only had a year. However, a much more reasonable amount could be invested now, and left in over a period of ten years or more to mature. An action that specialists suggest can usually provide a return on your original investment of around 9%.

The same goes for others investment opportunities, including buying property and lending money on a peer to peer platform. Although, do check the expected returns as these are not all as high as 9%.

Cut back

Last of all, saving what you can now is a valuable way of contributing to your kid’s future college fund. To do this, it can be useful to find small ways in which you can cut back on your spending and then store this money away to invest later.

Use special offers as they do above to save money on your food shop.

It’s best to do this in one area at a time, so the shock of a reduced budget isn’t too great. Start with using coupons and special offers for your groceries and cutting your bill by around $50 a month and build up from there. After all, a $50 a month saving over 15 years is 9000 dollars, an amount that could pay for a year in an in a state public college for your kid.

 

Adulthood? Adult-hide! Shirking With Sense

Adulthood? Adult-hide! Shirking With Sense - girl hiding image

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When going through school, most people don’t learn as much as they’d like to about adult life. During this time, you will be prepared for exams and coursework, while also getting some help with your future careers. Of course, though, when you don’t know how to handle basic jobs, it can feel like you’re far too busy. Overcoming this is a simple matter of following this post which will be exploring some of the easiest ways to start shirking life’s little stresses.

What Can Be Done? Being an adult consists of a lot of work which most people would rather leave for someone else. From cleaning the car to looking after the kids, it can be hard to make sure that you have all of the bases covered when you’re on your own. Below, you can find some examples of the common areas people will leave for others.

 

  • Money: Your finances are possibly the most important part of your adult life. If you let this area slip, everything else will come crashing down with it, and most people are well aware of this issue. When you find an accountant to help you, you can visit their website and read some reviews to make sure that they are legitimate. Having someone to handle your money for you can make life a lot easier.

 

 

  • The House: Along with making sure that your money is sound, a lot of people will work very hard to ensure that their house is also in very good shape. When you have children or a high-pressure job, though, you might not have the time for this. To make it easier, there are loads of companies out there which specialise in residential cleaning. One of the biggest considerations to make with this is trust, as you will have to be able to leave them in your home.

 

 

  • With The Kids: Finally, as the last area to consider, a lot of people find themselves struggling when it comes to keeping their kids happy. Whether you have work or just need some time to unwind, the kids won’t make it easy to enjoy this process. To solve this issue, using a babysitter once or twice each month is a great way to have some time to ignore adulthood, and focus on the things you enjoy. Of course, every good parent loves their kids, but they also need a chance to separate from them sometimes, too.

 

In life, there are always going to be jobs which you enjoy, and those which make your time all the harder. Thankfully, though, as time moves on, these sorts of methods are becoming more and more popular. Not only does this make them easier to find, but it also makes them much cheaper, and this is perfect for anyone in urgent need of support. Below, you can find some of the further benefits of a route like this, along with some of the negatives, too.

The Benefits: Taking stress out of life is always a great way to improve loads of different areas. Of course, most people don’t like being stressed, and getting rid of it will make them feel much better in normal life. Along with this, though, even your health can be impacted by pressure in your life. This makes it very important to look for ways to limit it in your life, using other people’s skills to have it handled behind the scenes. This sort of approach is especially useful for those with children.

The Negatives: Along with the good side of this, there are also some negatives, and it’s a good idea to consider these before you take any action. To begin, using someone else’s skills to do work for you will almost always cost money. This means that, while you save some stress, you may have to invest in the process, and a lot of people won’t want to do this. Along with this, pushing back emotions like stress to deal with them later can be very unhealthy. So, instead, you will always have to work with the aim of removing stress, not masking it with distractions.

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it will be a lot easier to start taking away the stress in your life, replacing it with cleverly chosen products and services which make life easier. Of course, along with this, a lot of people like to use methods like mindfulness to help to control their negative emotions. It’s always best to try as many methods as you can until you find the one which works best for you.

Leave Your Kids Finance They Can Fall Back On

We all hope that one day our kids are going to be in a position where they can stand on their own two feet. We hope that they are massively successful with incredible financial gains of their own. But consider, just for a moment, that they’re not? Should you leave them to fend for themselves? Ideally, you want to be in a position where you can provide them with some support while you’re still alive and after they have gone. So, let’s look at some of the ways to do that.

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Buy A Second Home

If you have the money, you should consider investing in a second home. You can use this in two ways. Either, you can purchase it as a secondary investment, sell it on and make some extra money to leave your kids one day. Or, you buy it and keep it, and one of your children can live there. This actually makes a lot of sense because today homes are so expensive that the young struggle to even get a foot on the property market. Instead, they’re stuck on the outside and with home prices currently nine times the average salary it’s probably not going to get any better.

This doesn’t have to be a freebie. You can charge them rent or they can slowly pay you off for the home that you’ve bought, and they are living in. it doesn’t even need to be local. You could buy a property in a beautiful international location. Invest in overseas property, let your kid live there and see if they can make a new life for themselves with better financial prospects in a new location. After all why not?

Invest In Gold

You might also want to think about investing in gold or precious metals. The reason for this is that these investments will generally not depreciate in value. They will stay at their current market price which is useful in an economy that is rather unpredictable. You might have seen those slogans online that say things like send in your cash for gold. They are not doing this for the goodness of their hearts. They know how valuable gold can be in the right economy and you should too.

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Grow A Business

You may also want to think about growing a business that you can pass onto your kids one day. Why not set up a startup after you are thinking about retiring. It can be a great way to keep you entertained, earn a little money and be a solid legacy that you can leave behind of course. The best part is that once you do pass on your kids can take the reins of the company and have their own profit machine.

It’s a great possibility and one that you should certainly consider. As you can see then, there are numerous ways to protect your children financially, both before and after you have gone. You will be able to provide them with a way to survive even if they don’t gain all the success you hoped for them.

Children of Debt: Using Your Financial Struggles as Tools for Teaching

All households can experience tough times, and some more than others. Having less to spend is not all bed new, though, and It’s actually quite common that children of low-income families grow up to be more financially savvy than their peers. If your family is going through a dip in finances at the moment, you can easily take advantage of this to teach them a few valuable lessons – just avoid the pitfalls.

Here is how some families use financial struggles to safeguard their children from similar problems, as well as a few words of warning on what to steer clear of.

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Have constructive money conversations

Talking about money problems with children is on the top of the to-do list. When times are tough, and you keep it to yourself, it tends to cause a bit of confusion. Be open about it and you’re giving your children a chance to understand the situation.

Explain that you need to save money, as a household, and that they can be of big help by simply remembering to use less electricity. These conversations are healthy and constructive; the problems are presented together with a solution, rather than mindless worries.

Some parents take the money-talk too far and burden their children with it. The conversations about money are used to unload themselves of worries, and the parents may even feel a sense of relief afterwards – while the child is left with a sense of being unable to help.

Admit your mistakes

While we should all learn from our own mistakes, your children are in the unique position of being able to learn from your mistakes as well. Take responsibility for the situation you’re in, admit that you haven’t been as on top of your finances as you should have, and avoid blaming it on your circumstances.

However tempting it may be to point out that you’ve gone through a costly divorce or that the economy is tough, save these blame-shifting talks for your friends. When you’re talking to your children about it, it’s all about being the grown-up, and grown-ups take responsibility.

If your child or teenager ever find themselves in the same situation, they won’t spend time on pointing fingers but instead get right to work and sort things out; just like you taught them.

There are so many words of wisdom to be found in financial problems, and you can use the situation to teach them about the importance of budgeting, the code of practice 9, and general saving alternatives. By being stubborn and proud, you’re just letting a fantastic teaching opportunity slip away from you.

Growing up in a family that needs to save money rather than spend it can actually be quite healthy for their future finances. It teaches them to understand the value of money and how important it is to have a backup fund in case something should happen, so keep teaching the right kind of values while picking yourself up.

How to separate your family finances from business ones

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Mixing work and our personal lives never ends up being a good thing in the long-run. Apart from the fear of having your two worlds collide, there’s also the issue of practicality. When setting up a business, it is considered wise to remove all and any traces of your personal life from the mix. This makes it easier down the line when the ol’ tax records are due and even before that. Separating these two makes it easier to track everything on either end and make sure that nothing gets buried in the paperwork.

Make it official

Simple as that, if separation is your goal, make your business official. Choosing what entity to go as is crucial because it affects your finances down the line and legal protection should you ever need it. Because of the gravity of such a step, it is paramount that you run this through your accountant, insurance agent(s) and your legal representative. Two options usually find themselves as a good fit for fresh companies, these are a limited liability company or LLC and an S corp. Both effectively function as pass-through tax entities, this means that taxes aren’t paid on a business level but passed-through to the tax returns of the company holders.

Open a separate account

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When that’s out of the way, the next thing that is recommended for any potential business is to open a separate account. This makes sure that all of your business expenses are separated from your personal ones, making everything transparent and easier to grasp once taxes are due. Another benefit is having the IRS deem your business as valid, as opposed to classifying it as a hobby if you kept everything on personal accounts. The idea of separate accounts can be expanded upon, making the process even smoother – investing in several accounts for the business itself, making each transaction visible in more than one spot.

Use different software

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This essentially ties into the previous idea. If you’re already focusing on separating the two, go the extra mile. It may be a hassle to get used to two different accounting systems, but it will grow into a huge quality of life improvement down the line. Ostracizing your accounts may seem a bit extreme, but it removes any possibility of having errors and mistakes pop up from trying to do your books last minute. Separate software leads to less opportunities for problems to arise and keeps you in good standing which is imperative for a business’ success.

Opt for a business credit card

This goes without saying, a business credit card is your best friend. Every expense, every transaction, every single solitary change in your finances is logged and kept. This may not seem like much, but having actual proof of a transaction is a godsend for anyone who’s had trouble with tracking finances. If you should ever be faced with an audit, these records will help back up your own logs and make the whole thing go a lot smoother. Should your business credit not be established enough to secure a card, work it out, at least try to use on of your personal ones for business to make it easier on yourself.

Consult professionals

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Although mentioned above, it still deserves a segment of its own, consult a professional. No one likes to be the person asking for help, but this is our livelihoods we’re talking about. Seeking out professional help at the beginning is still cheaper than doing something wrong and have your business finances embody the concept of the domino effect. A plethora of companies like Darcy Bookkeeping & Business Services offer free quotes to help you get an idea of where your company’s currently at and where it could go. With a seasoned accountant on board, all of the aforementioned steps get kicked into high gear. Think of it as learning to ride a bike, we all started with training wheels.

Tread carefully

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Even with all of these steps, the road will be difficult. By separating your accounts and keeping them that way, both sides of our lives are given equal opportunity to flourish without impeding the other. Make no mistake, business is all about playing the hand you’re dealt and seizing the opportunities you’re given. We may not be able to predict what’s coming over the horizon, but we sure can prepare for the worst. Just like any venture, a good plan will see us through and that is the point we’re trying to get across – be prepared.