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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.

Parenting 101: Top 7 Ways to Start Saving for Your Child’s Future - coin in piggybank image
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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.

Conclusion

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.

How Schools Can Enhance The Learning Experience

One of the most essential elements of ensuring your students are engaged and interested in the subjects they are being taught is to provide a sense of enthusiasm to the subject. If they feel as though the teacher or presenter of said information is interested, they too will adopt that sense of interest through osmosis. Most children will be happy for this additional support, and to that end, you’ll likely help them improve their grades.

How Schools Can Enhance The Learning Experience - two girls in school image
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However, any worthwhile faculty will continually consider just how they can enhance and improve the learning experience for their pupils, because this will not only help them retain information, but it will improve how various measures of the subject are processed. For instance, homework will likely be completed earlier and to a higher standard, test results will be more promising, and students will report higher levels of satisfaction in their classes. 

These three metrics can be important for any school to achieve, as it can not only provide a fantastic learning experience but also improve their standing in the eyes of the education board. With that in mind, some of the following advice may be necessary:

Regular Trips

School cultural trips can help not only beat the stuffy boredom of the classroom, which unfortunately can arise even if used well by a caring teacher, and brings life to a subject. No matter if you’re studying the best of geography, a historical environment, or a cultural consideration and connection, there’s almost nothing better than continually proving to your students that the theory learned in the classroom has real, actionable and practical influence as part of the real world. That in itself can help children pay attention.

Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic learning can be very important for students to take part in. While we are all different learners, having something in your hands and examples to take part in can be important. This is why children are often given careful access to perform their own scientific experiments in a caring environment. Flashcards, props and toys can also be used to demonstrate a point, such as when playing games as part of the class in a language lesson, or through applying concepts to reality through the woodworking class. Kinetic learning, for most children, is easy to internalize due to how ‘real’ it is.

Balanced Homework

Balanced homework is important to get right. Too little and students can forget exactly what lessons and tidbits of wisdom they get from each session, while too much and it buries children and prevents them from engaging with your current topics. To the extent that you can, balancing your need to teach the curriculum with reasonable homework allotments can help kids feel more engaged in their lesson without having to worry about an overblown extra consideration that takes away from their resting time. All schools could benefit from prioritizing this balance.

With this advice, we hope your schools can correctly and prominently enhance the learning experience.

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4 Tips for Motivating Your Kids to Pick up Good Habits

Every good parent wants their child to have the best possible future, and to succeed in life to the best of their abilities. But what should you do, in the here and now, to make that happen?

While, of course, there aren’t any clear-cut answers to a question like that, it’s probably a good idea to assume that your child’s habits will have a dramatic impact on their future, and on their ability to be successful in whatever it is they attempt in life.

By the same token, instilling good habits in your child isn’t the kind of thing that you can just do in a completely authoritative, top-down way. Rather, as with so much else in life, it’s very important to hone your own motivational skills, so that you can motivate your kids to pick up and maintain good habits of their own accord.

Here are a few tips for motivating your kids to pick up good habits

4 Tips for Motivating Your Kids to Pick up Good Habits - teaching kids good habits - piggy bank image
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Present positive behavioural examples to them in the form of uplifting stories

Kids are always looking for examples to model their behaviour. That’s why role models are so important, both in terms of parental role models, and in terms of broader cultural role models.

One of the best ways of motivating your child to do positive things, and to acquire positive habits of their own accord, is by presenting positive behavioural examples to them in the form of uplifting stories.

If you give your child a story that explains sound financial principles, or that underscores the importance of keeping a tidy bedroom, for example, it is much more likely that the child will engage and identify with the story they’re being told, take the message to heart, and at the very least will be receptive to following the advice contained within.

Sometimes, you may even find your child spontaneously acting on the moral of the story, without you having to do or say anything else.

Be sure to praise and reinforce positive actions, instead of just treating them as expected

Children are always looking for praise and approval from their parents, and so when your child does something that you like and consider positive, it’s important that you praise and reinforce those actions in a clear way.

If you simply treat those good behaviours as run-of-the-mill and “expected,” you will be depriving your child of the emotional stimulus that can make all the difference in helping them to create positive associations with those behaviours, and to actually feel motivated to engage in them on a regular basis.

In some cases, and for some particular actions, it may be appropriate to give your child some kind of small gift or treat as a reward. Often, though, it will be enough just to smile and tell them they’ve done a very good job, and that you’re proud of them.

Use visual tracking systems such as star charts in order to make the process more tangible

Even as adults, we all tend to take a lot of satisfaction in seeing visible markers of progress and success. That’s why various leading fitness apps will show charts, and will give us comparative stats, to keep us motivated. And it’s also why crossing items off a checklist can feel so deeply satisfying.

For children, of course, the same principles apply, and they apply even more so.

If you want to motivate your child to pick up and stick with positive habits, consider using visual tracking system such as star charts, in order to make the process more tangible. As your child accumulates more and more stars or other positive signifiers, they will naturally feel more inclined to keep going, and their momentum will increase.

Lead by example

There’s no point at all in telling your child to do something, if you yourself then proceed to do the opposite, right in front of them.

Children, when all is said and done, are far more interested in following the examples of their parents than they are in following the advice of their parents.

In other words, one of the best things you can do to help motivate a child to establish good habits, is to lead by example. If you tell them it’s important to keep a tidy room, then make sure your is tidy. And if you expect them to get dressed in daytime clothes every morning, then don’t let them catch you lounging in front of the TV in the afternoon in your pyjamas.

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4 Things to Remember When Organising Your Will and Child’s Inheritance

One of the most essential documents you’ll ever make throughout your life is your will, and this is never more important than when it comes to your family. When your time comes, it’s critical to make sure your assets are being distributed in the right way and to the right people, especially when your children are involved.

We’re sure you want to give your children the earnings and benefits of your life to help them make the most of theirs. However, you need to make sure you’re doing this in the right way and minimizes the risk of problems and issues down the line, or even jeopardize your children getting their inheritance at all.

There are several things you’ll need to know to get the best results, four of which we’re going to explore today. Remember these when organizing and creating your will and you can be sure everyone in your family will have the best experience during one of the hardest times; helping to make things a little easier.

It’s always worth remembering that a legal process like will writing can be quite complicated. While you may be perfectly capable of doing it on your own, it will always take some of the stress out of it if you’re able to talk to a professional along the way. Legal firms like Casey & Associates can take the stress and pressure out of writing your will, though it’s still worth getting to grips with what needs to be included in this document.

4 Things to Remember When Organising Your Will and Child's Inheritance - last will and testament image
  1. Naming a Guardian

The first thing you need to do is name a guardian who is going to look after your child, especially if they’re underage in your country and not legally an adult. This is typically around the 18 years old mark. This is so important because this is the person or family who will be looking after your children.

If you don’t name a legal guardian, things can get very complicated with parties like social services having to get involved. After you’ve passed, you don’t want to make things even more complex for your children; so name a guardian to make things easier for everyone. Be sure to talk to this guardian first.

2. Use a Financial Test

Sometimes, you might be in a position where you want to give your children their inheritance, but there are many concerns parents may have when it comes to actually giving your children that money. This is where a financial test comes into play.

With a test, you can see how your children will spend the money they’re giving and then you can see how to provide them with their inheritance which best suits them. Whether you want to give them a lump sum, or you’d instead give them monthly installments, so they don’t blow it all in Vegas.

3. Start Using and Set Up Trusts

Trusts are one of the best ways to keep your inheritance assets save and to ensure your children can access their inheritance safely. With a trust, you’ll be able to appoint your children and anybody else in your family or other loved ones to be trustees who can then access these assets.

With regards to your children, it’s best to set up a trust per child and then give them access to their own trust and not each other’s, while making sure everything is kept fair and how you want it. This is also important to think about for lots of reasons, especially if you have an IRA from a parent you want to give away, or money or assets from a business.

4. Don’t Forget Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax is unavoidable, and you’ll need to consider this when writing your will. You don’t want to give your children a large payout of assets only to find they’ve been heavily taxed and left in an even more stressful situation. The rules of this will depend on your individual State or Country.

You will need to talk to a professional will service who will be able to talk you through the details of your individual situation, and how it will affect your children, so make sure you’re booking an appointment to talk through everything, so everyone is clear.

Summary

As you can see, there are several things you’re going to want to think about when it comes to organizing your child’s inheritance and sorting out your wills. The more you can be prepared, the easiest the legal side of the process will be for the ones you love; the importance of which can never be understated.

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Why Talk About Money With Your Children?

Why is it important to talk about money with our children? As a society, we’ve come to understand that staying silent on the topics of sex and drugs can often lead to negative or unwanted consequences. The same is true for money.

Starting the money conversation early, and having it often, in an age-appropriate way helps prepare our children for managing their own money wisely.

Stay silent about it and you risk leaving your children open to the pitches of TV adverts and peer pressure. Much better for you to take conscious control over what they are learning rather than the bombardment of advertising or negative portrayal in films and the media.

Why Talk About Money With Your Children? - mum and daughter counting coins image

Theresa Harezlak, a financial adviser with Savant Capital Management and a mother of two, says the biggest money mistake that parents make is silence.

“Every time my kids go outside I tell them to be careful crossing the roads and do not talk to strangers, but we never talk about money. In reality”, she says, “the chances of her kids being abducted are very low, but the chances of her children using money are certain”.


Theresa Harezlak

Staying silent about money and you risk leaving your children open to the pitches of TV, adverts and peer pressure. Much better for you to take conscious control over what they are learning rather than the bombardment of advertising or negative portrayal in films and the media.

For example think of how many films or TV shows have the arch villain as some kind of reclusive billionaire. In fact how many positive examples of rich people can you call to mind?

In my view, too many parents don’t talk about money with their kids at all. Others skirt topics they don’t know much about, like investing and debt. Parents are the main source of money information for children, but 74% of parents are reluctant to discuss family finances with their kids, according to the 2014 T. Rowe Price Parents, Kids, and Money Survey. That’s a big shame, because ignorance about money can set up your kids to make bad decisions — and eventually pass those bad habits on to your grandchildren.

The solution: Make financial literacy a family value

In her book, Do I Look Like an ATM?: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible African American Children, Sabrina Lamb details “the business of your family household.” Lamb, says all families should work together on five financial topics: learning, earning, saving, investing, and donating time or funds to causes you value. She recommends a daily diet of business news, occasional meetings between the kids, your bank, or other financial advisors, and support of your older kids’ entrepreneurial goals. This might be a bit idealistic for many but using the news or an online article as a stimulus for a conversation about money could be a good start.

Even if money is tight, don’t stress about it in silence.

When parents are worried about money but are not communicating their financial situation, children pick up on the anxiety and associate it broadly with finances. Rather than learning money lessons from their parent’s mistakes or particular situation, children instead learn that money is ‘stressful’ and ‘bad’.

A 2013 Study by Cambridge University for the Money Advice Service revealed that our money values and habits are formed in childhood often before the age of 7. If a child is growing up with the programming that money is stressful and bad what are the chances that they will ever make any as an adult?

This is why the primary goal behind The Financial Fairy Tales books is to help spread positive, empowering messages about money to children and counteract the negative bias they may be exposed to elsewhere.

Join our growing Facebook community here and share this post with someone you know who would benefit from this conversation about money.

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