Posts filed under ‘money management’

Money Management Advice for Parents

Today’s guest blog is written by Sara Bailey.

As a parent, knowing how to manage your money is essential to creating a solid financial future for your children. It will also help alleviate some of the financial stress that can rub off on your children. Money management requires some key financial planning moves that will ensure that you not only set goals but accomplish them as well.

You Need to Have the Talk

If you and your partner haven’t had a serious talk about money before, then it’s definitely time. According to OppLoans, in order to have meaningful communication about finances, partners need to be open and honest about their financial circumstances. It’s suggested that you get comfortable with discussing general terms before jumping into the actual figures or creating a budget. You’ll want to avoid making it personal but focus on setting goals that you can accomplish together. It might be helpful if you think about some ways that you can start saving money as a family and bring that to the table as well. These money-saving activities may include preparing meals to avoid overspending at the grocery store, using coupons or cutting back on the money spent on your children’s clothes.

Craft a Finely Tuned Budget

The Balance gives a good overview of the things parents need to consider when designing a budget. To start with, you’ll need to determine the family’s income and track your monthly expenses. It’s also important that you devise a plan to manage your debt and increase your savings. You should make sure that you’re filing taxes correctly as this could decrease the tax obligations and free up money for your savings. When designing and maintaining your budget, don’t be afraid to make technology your friend. There are a variety of apps available that can help you track your spending, pay your bills and help you reach your savings goals. Once you’ve saved enough, you can start putting money away for your children’s college tuition or a down payment on a home. It is possible to purchase a home with a minimal down payment, but you will have to pay extra for mortgage insurance. 

Start Your Estate Planning

Depending on where you are in life, it may seem odd to start thinking about what should be taken care of in case of your passing. It’s important to remember, though, that things don’t always go according to our timelines. When dealing with estate planning, you’ll need to consult an attorney to develop documents that will dictate who will make medical decisions for you in case you’re incapacitated and who will be your child’s guardian if they are underage when you pass away. You should also create a will and ensure that your beneficiary information for all policies and accounts are up-to-date.

Another key aspect of estate planning is putting life insurance policies in place, which will protect your family financially if something were to happen to you. The right term length of your policy depends on your age and how many people are in your household. You can use an online calculator to determine how much coverage you need and how the cost can fit into your budget.

Maximize Your Benefits

If you work for a company that offers great benefits like childcare facilities and extended parental leave, then great! Even so, you should research other programs that you might be eligible for as a parent. Some of these government programs include Head Start and Early Start programs that are focused on the school readiness of children from birth to age five, as well as the childcare and development fund that provides assistance when parents need to find childcare services in order to go to work or attend school. You should also look into the Child Tax Credit or Child and Dependent Care Credit that would enable you to save on your taxes.

Parenthood can be a bit of a challenge on your finances. However, it’s something you can handle when you take all the steps necessary to have things under control. Start discussing finances with your spouse, then begin to take measures to cut costs and save for what matters most. Follow Sara Bailey at: thewidow.net

Photo courtesy of Pexels

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

February 21, 2020 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

3 Tips to Prevent Excessive Prom Spending (reprinted)

Reprinted 5/26/2016 from Moms Magazine ~~~ prom car

Eons ago, I attended prom. I actually had my dress made and it was a big deal to match the dress with my shoes. I wore a natural hair style, so I only needed a trip to the barbershop to have it properly shaped. I’m sure I wore some make-up and polished my nails, but the entire the whole preparation didn’t cost more than maybe $200.

Have you had to prepare your child for prom recently? I remember getting my own daughters ready for prom and it was certainly more elaborate than when I was in high school. I believe the cost of one of the prom dresses was three hundred dollars!

There was even a process for how your date asked you to prom. Apparently your favorite girl wouldn’t consider going to prom with you unless you had a creative way of asking her. prom2

Attended a prom party lately? My hubs and I attended a prom party and I was amazed and surprised at the elaborate things that took place. Her dress was flown out of New York and he had on the baddest pair of shoes I’ve ever seen even on a grown man; the fact that he was a high school kid made it unreal. I believe the shoes were blue suede. Between the videographer and the Rolls Royce limo, I imagine those parents easily spent $4,000.

Some parents feel if you have the money to spend why not spend it? My concern is that if you’re spending thousands of dollars for prom, what do you do when your daughter(s) or son(s) get married?

I believe we’re teaching our young people that they are entitled to this kind of excessive spending, when in actuality they aren’t. What have they done to deserve this excess?

Instead here are three things we can teach them to help them develop fiscal responsibility.
1. Let them know that they are responsible for some of their prom expenses. Set a dollar amount of what you will contribute.
2. Open a savings account when they are in grade school. Help them develop a habit of savings.
3. Teach them the value of being frugal. Show them how to get the best for their money. (Help them learn this early – during middle school would be good.)

Recently parents were telling me how concerned they were that their children particularly the teens acted so entitled. How can you not feel entitled if your parents will allow you to spend thousands of dollars on your dress or tux without establishing limits?

Interested in learning more about your how to communicate with your teen daughter? Pick up a copy of my book -Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring family coaching programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters or Mothers and Sons. Email me at: info@clynnwilliams.com

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author, Coach & Family Dynamics Specialist
http://www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)
Yours & Mine: The Winning Blended Family Formula (220 Publishing, 2015)

June 7, 2016 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment


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