Archives for April 2016

Children Change Financial Outlook

Children Change Financial Outlook

Personal financial management presents plenty of obstacles, in its own right, but adding children drastically changes household finances. As a result, moms and dads are typically eager to save money wherever they can. Fortunately, cash-strapped families continue to devise effective solutions to monetary issues tied to child-rearing.

Regardless of the ages of your children, saving money on the cost of kids contributes to financial stability and frees-up resources for other household expenses. If you have experience raising children, however, you’re familiar with the unending spending cycle kids generate. Is it possible to slow this call for cash?

You are not alone in your quest for frugal family solutions, so it pays to use others’ experience to your advantage. The following money saving tips represents a few of the proven tactics parents lean-on to make ends meet.

Entertaining Kids Doesn’t call for Major Investment

There is no way around the fact goods and services cost money. Kids have a unique perspective about entertainment, however, because each new experience adds to their frame of reference – regardless of its price. As a result, children are eager to participate in all kinds of low-budget activities. By committing to this frugal standard, your creative thinking is the bridge to endless family enjoyment, without wiping-out your entertainment budget.

Free Attractions – More than a specific takeaway from a particular outing, kids want your time and attention. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, use their curiosity to keep them entertained. Remember, there are countless parents in your area working toward the same goals, so free attractions are made available by municipalities and local organizations committed to parenting. Reading events at the library, parades, and summer recreation programs are just a few of the worthy distractions put-forth to keep kids entertained – at little or no cost.

Get Outdoors – Parks and other outdoor spaces are perfect stretching grounds for kids on the move. Make an event out of each trip, to get kids on-board the excursions. Depending upon where you live, parks within reach may be equipped with slides, swings, giant sand boxes and other outdoor diversions unavailable at home. If possible, arrange playdates at local parks, bringing you together with like-minded moms and dads.

Finding a Path to Home Ownership

Parents naturally seek to provide the best possible outcomes for their kids, including living conditions that help them succeed. Home ownership furnishes an important building block for financial security, as well as consistency for school-age kids. To deliver this stability, growing families often prioritize home-buying as a near term financial goal.

Credit Concerns – Your primary concern preparing for home ownership is your strength of credit. Loans are available for those without adequate credit references – review them here – but for a home purchase, you’ll need substantial financing. Evaluating credit status up-front helps manage your expectations, and gives you a number to work with, as you compare homes. Loan pre-approval also provides an advantage in today’s real estate market, enabling you to move quickly when a suitable home is found.

Savings Strategies – The best way to save money for a home purchase is sequestering funds specifically for that purpose. Once mingled with household cash flow, the money will likely go toward day to day spending, rather than building for a down payment. To start accumulating a sizable deposit, first run your budget number to determine how much you can afford to set-aside, and then establish a separate bank account in which to deposit your home fund. Set saving goals and do your best to keep the money off-limits for anything other than a new house.

Networking with Other Parents Yields Savings

Other parents’ experience shortens your learning curve, so their input should be welcomed. To benefit from other moms and dads know-how, network with parents in your area. Not only will it shed insight, but keeping in touch with other families can save you money.

Second Hand Cycle Serves Frugal Parents – Kids clothes and furnishings are expensive, so pre-owned savings furnish financial relief for parents. Staying in-touch with others in the same boat creates contacts for buying, selling and trading second-hand furniture, clothes and other kids’ accessories.

Babysitters and Other Benefits – Having walked in your shoes, experienced parents have made valuable contacts. Babysitter referrals from trusted sources are a goldmine for moms and dads without a solid corps of watchful sitters. And this vital information is not the only assistance networking brings, you can also glean valuable knowledge about entertaining, feeding, and caring for kids, on a budget.

Great childcare money tip for moms: returns to cover costs

Great childcare money tip for moms: returns to cover costs

Right now the cost of childcare around the U.S. is rivaling the cost of college tuition. Under these new standards parents would have to start saving for childcare years before the kids are even a twinkle in in their eyes. Check out some of the following guidelines including using some of your tax return to drive down costs.

Compare costs in your area

Cost of day care and more specifically infant care can be very expensive depending on which city in the United States you are located. Check out Childcare Aware’s map of childcare costs across the country to evaluate and compare costs in your area. Even when daycare in your area is affordable – dual working parents, single parents, and especially healthcare workers with night shifts often find daycare is not flexible enough to work with their more complicated schedules.

A Growing family will double or triples costs

Every time parents decide to have another child they also naturally decide to double the price of childcare for their family. After two, three and four or more children, childcare can be pretty pricey. In the case of a daycare costs for example wouldjump from $1,000 a month to $2,000 or $3,000 a month with the addition of more children. Unlike every other form of childcare, however an Au Pair will cost the same no matter how many children a family has.

Au Pairs more affordable than most nannies

While Au Pairs can often be the more affordable childcare choice, the upfront costs of getting the Au Pair into the United States is always more expensive. When families use their tax return for the upfront costs, the only thing they have to worry about after that is the $7.85 an hour to pay the Au Pair for their 45 hours of live in childcare. The Au Pair can do the kids laundry and make their meals and work the more complicated childcare shifts, like evenings and weekends.

After researching costs of childcare in your area, and averaging out costs per child, parents may want to consider putting your tax return towards an Au Pair to get a jump start on their childcare, so they can save for the next more expensive piece to having children: college tuition. Families who have used Au Pairs have been pleasantly surprised how affordable Au Pair childcare is in comparison to daycare or nannies.