Parenting 101: Top 7 Ways to Start Saving for Your Child’s Future

Starting saving for your son or daughter’s future may seem overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting, especially when you know how to do it. For starters, decide what you want for your children and the goals that you have for their future. You need to know the purpose of saving the money to determine the tips or ways of saving. You can use these saving tips for the college tuition, future medical expenses, general savings, or educational expenses of your child and secure their future.

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  1. 529 Plans

Also known as a qualified tuition plan, 529 plans enable you to save for your child’s education while taking advantage of tax benefits. You can choose from prepaid tuition plans or educational savings plans, all under the 529 plans. The government sponsors the education savings plan. It allows you to open investment accounts for your kids who can use the funds for fees, board, tuition, or other higher education expenses. The prepaid tuition 529 plans allow parents to prepay costs and tuition at the current prices.

  1. Roth IRA

Opening a Roth IRA in your child’s name is an effective way of saving for his or her future. However, your child must have an income for this saving option. Therefore, it is an ideal way of saving for the future of your teenager. Your child gets tax-free money after retirement. However, Roth IRA is different from other retirement accounts because you can use the funds for qualified college expenses. Your child will not face an early withdrawal penalty, though they have to pay taxes on the earnings.

  1. Trust Funds

Trust funds are not as common, but they are a great way to save money for your child. You can set up a trust fund with any amount, though it doesn’t make much sense if you don’t have a large amount of cash. You should consult a lawyer to draw up the trust documents and appoint a manager. Trust funds are perfect for wealthy families because they provide more control over disbursements and protect children’s assets during a divorce. Factors like how long does a divorce take or whether you have to split assets after the separation don’t affect your child’s trust funds. Trust funds for your child’s future are protected from creditors.

  1. UTMA and UGMA Accounts

Another way of saving for your child’s future is opening a Uniforms Transfer to Minors Act Account. When the child attains the age of 21 or 18, the assets in the account are transferred. Your child then decides on how to use the funds. Therefore, children are not limited to qualified education expenses since they can use funds for discretionary purchases or other living expenses. The best part about UTMA or UGMA is that you can contribute any amount you want towards your child’s future. However, you cannot control how your child uses the funds, and tax benefits are not guaranteed.

  1. A Custodial Account

Opening a custodial account for your son or daughter is ideal for a broader savings purpose. The account doesn’t limit you to college expenses.  You can choose a custodial account to save for your child’s house or business once they become an adult. You fund and manage the account, but your child is the account holder. The pros of starting a custodial account for a child is that it doesn’t have restrictions as long as your child is the beneficiary. A portion of the account’s profits is tax-free, while the rest is taxed at the child’s income tax rate.

  1. Savings Account

Parents can opt for traditional savings accounts to secure their children’s future. However, the interest rates for savings accounts are low, and the interest is also taxed as income. The upside of opening a savings account for a child is that it provides a haven for the funds and secures a child’s future.

  1. Invest Account

You can secure your child’s college education through an investment account. You contribute any amount of money every year, and your child can use the funds for any expenses. That means that children can use the funds for college education of other uses. The money you save is invested in a diversified portfolio of ETFs. The level of risk is also minimal.


You can choose any of the above saving plans for your child’s future at different stages of your working life. The best way to set money aside for saving is to avoid impulse buying since every coin counts. Ensure that you educate your children about the importance of savings to secure their future.

I’m Moving: How Much is My House Worth

Understanding the value of your property is important when you are moving and looking to buy a new home. You might find that your real estate investment has gone up since you originally bought it, that it is about the same price, or that the market has dipped. Even if you are not looking to move right now, it is still useful to know the approximate market value of your house.

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Finding Values Online

Some online estimators can help you determine the worth of your house, based on details such as its location and what prices homes sold for recently in that area. The good thing about these calculators is that they show a figure almost immediately when you enter the data the software asks for.

You will likely be prompted by an online calculator to enter the type of home it is, the year it was built, how much you paid for it, and the number of rooms (bedrooms and bathrooms). However, that figure is only an estimate of the neighbourhood.

The number is only as accurate as the amount of public data that the specific website has access to. A real estate agent can provide more accuracy, as well as additional information from other sources.

Getting a CMA

A realtor understands how to do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to find your home’s value. To be as precise as possible, this professional looks at nearby homes that are similar to yours (comps); they have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as yours, as well as a similar-sized lot.

Next, the realtor typically averages the figures of the handful of comparative properties. Then they have an accurate idea of your own home’s worth. This professional also likely has a lot of experience with the market that the online calculator mentioned earlier does not; they will factor in their knowledge with the numbers.

Assigning a Value is Difficult

When it comes to putting a number on your home when you’re selling it, this activity is very difficult for most people. It is tough not to think about all the memories you have had there and the effort you have put into home improvement projects.

It is hard to be objective, which is why a realtor will help you to do a CMA and suggest a price. Of course, that is only a suggestion and always remember that you are in control and can set the price. But if you go significantly higher than suggested, you have to be ready to explain why to those who are looking to buy.

Why is Knowing Your Home’s Value Important?

Understanding the worth of your existing home will help you to understand how to price it and then calculate what you can afford when looking for a townhouse or another type of house. After all, you are both a buyer and a seller.

When looking for a new property, the bank will look at the appraised value of your home as part of the mortgage approval process. So, it is in your best interest to know as much as you can beforehand.

What Else to Consider

Other details affect the value of your home too. For example, you don’t want to include comps that are on opposite sides of major roads or railways. While you might not realize it, these dividing lines can make a difference from a financial perspective.

Also, when comparing similar properties, try to get within a 10 percent variance of the square footage, if possible. Look at properties that were built around the same time as yours when making comparisons too.

Another factor that affects your home’s market value is curb appeal. If it looks outdated, it is likely to get a lower price than one that has a beautiful garden and was newly painted.

Finally, consider any upgrades you or the other owners of the other homes have done that increase its sale price. There might also be additional amenities in them that increase the property value.

Final Words on Home Value

When you are ready to buy a house, it makes sense to know the worth of your current property going into the process. Getting a CMA from a real estate professional is part of the process, as is looking at online listings to get an idea of what you can afford and what kind of house you would like to live in one day.

When you sell your home and buy a new one, you are moving into the next phase of your life. It is an exciting time, and you can feel good about the investment you are making in your future.


Can You Help Your Children Onto The Property Ladder In 2020?

Owning a home of your own is getting harder than ever. With spiralling rental rates, increasing cost of living and slow growth in wages, many of the younger generation are finding their dream of owning a family home of their own is getting further and further away. So if parents are in a position financially to help, it can be a wonderful thing to do – and help to give your kids security for the future. If they are already saving hard to pull together the money required for a deposit, it can still be slightly beyond reach without a parental helping hand. And with mortgage costs frequently lower than the cost of renting,your children will be able to save money in the long run if they get that first time house. So how can you help the situation?

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Gift A Lump Sum

If you can afford to give a lump sum, this will really help towards the considerable costs of a deposit. Often affording the mortgage isn’t the issue, it’s overcoming the barrier of having a high enough Loan To Value (LTV) amount. If you can supply part of this, your children could be able to get on the property ladder with a new build home. When planning this move, it’s important to consider the full picture of your own future finances and possible retirement. Speak to an independent financial advisor is critical to help you make the right move. 

Provide A Loan

If you can’t afford to gift a large amount, you could act as a lending facility instead. This can be a good option if you have access to savings that you don’t need now, but will need in the future. With interest rates at a historical low, you’re not losing out on much by not having them sitting in the back, and you may be able to make borrowing some of the amount of a deposit affordable for your kids, through either not asking for any interest or keeping it very low and the repayment terms flexible. In all these matters, it’s very important to be able to have an honest discussion about money with your family and be very clear exactly what you are expecting to be repaid and when – also get this in a formal legal contract notarized by a solicitor to avoid any confusion.

Take Out A Family Mortgage

Offset mortgages, where 100% of the property value can be borrowed, are also sometimes an option. These loans would be secured against the value of your own home, or sometimes allow you to deposit money into a savings account that acts as a security in the event of non-payment. However, if your child doesn’t keep up with payments, your own home or retirement funds may be at risk. Make sure you talk about affordability and contingency plans with your children before deciding on this option.

There are lots of ways you can help out financially when it comes to getting your children onto the property ladder, but don’t forget that emotional support is just as important too – always be ready with a cup of tea and a listening ear.


Moving In With Your Partner: Tips and Tricks

There are plenty of good reasons why you might want to move in with your partner. The main should, of course, be that you love spending time with them! And then there’s the financial aspect, too. Suddenly, since it’s two people rather than one, you’ll find that you’re able to look at more expensive places, without actively spending any more cash on rent than you currently do. 

However, while there can be many benefits to cohabiting, it’s important to understand that it won’t all be positive. Mistakes can be made! Below, we’ll take a look at some tips and tricks to ensure it’s nothing but smooth sailing.

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The Right Time

It’s exciting to be moving in with your partner, but it still does involve a move, and that can be stressful. Even though many people say “other people get stressed when moving, but I won’t,” it rarely turns out that way. There are a lot of things that need to be handled, and things can get messy. That’s why it’s super important to pick a time that’s relatively quiet for you. Also, it should go without saying that it’s imperative to move when you’re both in a good place with each other! 

Living in One Space

If you’ve previously been living by yourself, then you’ll have to contend with some practical issues before you move. For example, what will you do with all your belongings? You’re not going to need all of them in your new place. There won’t be enough space anyway, but it’s not as if you’d need two toasters either. So it’s best to go through your belongings, and figure out what you need and don’t need in your new place. You can sell the stuff you no longer need. You can look at using a storage service for the items that you want to keep but can’t take to your new place. It’ll be much easier to live with one another when it doesn’t feel as if the space is cluttered!

Creating a Home

It’s generally a good idea to move into a neutral space, but sometimes it just makes more sense to move into one of the person’s homes. If this happens, though, it’s important to take extra steps so that the person who is moving in feels at home. It could mean redecorating, hanging souvenirs, or just generally allowing both people in the house to have an equal say in all aspects of the home. This approach can help keep a lot of potential problems at bay! It’s also important that you both have your own space within the home. You’re happy to live with one another…but you surely don’t want to be living in each other’s pocket all day.

Give it Time
Finally, be sure to give it time. Any move is stressful, even if you know it’s ultimately the right move. Give it time, don’t expect too much, and eventually you’ll realize that you feel at home and that you love living with your partner!


Preparing For A Family Home Move

When you have to move your family from their usual surroundings to a completely new home, there’s bound to be a lot going on in your mind. Of course you have so many different things to think about to ensure the actual move can be a success, but it’s also important to consider the implications this many have on you and your little ones too. Moving home as a family is a great opportunity for you to come together and bond, so it’s important that you can make an effort to keep the move running smoothly and create the perfect new home environment that you can all settle into in no time at all. So, if you’re planning to move to a new family home and would like to know more about how you can prepare yourselves properly, then read on to uncover some of the best tips and tricks that you can make the most of today!

Preparing For A Family Home Move - woman packing a lamp - moving home image

Plan In Advance 

One of the key aspects of a successful family home move involves planning as far in advance as possible. Trying to look after yourself and your children whilst working for 40 hours a week can be an exhausting experience in itself, but when you add in the extra task of moving your whole life from one location to another it can so easily become overwhelming. Making an effort to plan will allow you to take the process one day at a time, and hopefully encourage you to stay in control economically and keep at a steady pace to complete your project without the need for stress and worry. Taking advantage of a service such as those provided by nowstorage could aid you in relieving some pressure, as you can box up and store your non-essential items to create more space and increase your ability to focus on the tasks at hand. 

Get The Kids Involved 

Moving home can be a really tricky experience for little ones, as they often do not understand why they have to leave their usual surroundings and transfer all of their stuff to somewhere new. However, getting your kids involved in the process can encourage them to have a much more positive view on the project and maybe even aid them in actually enjoying the move! Asking for their help in simple tasks such as organizing their belongings ready to be packed and choosing colour schemes or design features for their new bedroom will definitely build up their excitement, as they will begin to see the move as a new opportunity for positive things. 

Preparing for a family home move has never been so simple when you are able to take advantage of the tried and tested top tips outlined above. Be sure to plan your move as far in advance as possible to keep stress levels to a minimum, and encourage your little ones to get involved in the process to build their excitement and keep things as fun as possible.