There’s nothing more thrilling than watching your child’s first steps or hearing those first words. You can’t wait to reach the next milestone. Yet, looking forward to the future also means planning for those special times in a young person’s life.
It’s never too soon to start saving for college. Today’s costs of a college education are in the tens of thousands of dollars, and that may continue to increase over the years. Having a college savings account is the best way to avoid burdening your graduate or yourself with high-interest student loans.
An affordable option is the 529 education savings plan. Federally sponsored but operated by individual states, the plan allows you to contribute after-tax dollars to an interest-bearing account either through direct donation or monthly contributions. When your child reaches college age, you can withdraw money tax-free to pay for expenses.
As your child grows, unexpected situations may arise that aren’t completely covered by your health insurance, such as eyeglasses or dental work. These can strain your budget if you don’t have the savings and strategies to pay for them.
As children approach adolescence, it’s common for them to need orthodontic work, and fortunately, the process has become easier over the years due to new technology. Your child may not have to experience the embarrassing metal smiles and clumsy headgear of yesterday. Today there are alternatives in easy-to-wear, transparent tooth straightening devices. Invisalign is a great option for self-conscious teens because of its low profile.
Children develop individual interests and talents as they grow, such as sports, music, science, or dance. Many schools offer these activities with little cost, your child may want to follow their dreams by attending special camps, taking additional classes, or going on trips with the team, and these cost extra money.
These activities keep your child active and may also prepare them for a future career or college scholarship. Try to put aside at least $1,000 per child per year to help save for these special events. When your child asks to go to camp or take lessons, you’ll be prepared.
All parents want their children to be healthy, happy, and ready for their future. While you work hard to provide your kids with the basics, also think about saving for their futures. Saving a little now can save you from saying “no” later.
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