I have a three year old. It used to be that thinking about what to do to put her in a better position financially than I was – one of the goals of a lot of single dads and single moms out there – would keep me up at night. Not anymore. Here are a couple of things that I did:
1. Joined uPromise.
From their website:
We believe that every child should have the chance to go to college. Upromise was established to give families an easy way to save – every day – and encourage them to start early by investing their own money for college on a regular basis. Our Rewards service offers money for college from America’s leading companies such as Citi®, ExxonMobil, McDonald’s and hundreds of others. And our relationships with top investment companies, including The Vanguard Group® and Columbia Management Group, make it easy to get started and adopt a long-term savings strategy with great tax advantages.
You mean to tell me that I can start saving money for my child’s future education simply by registering a few cards and shopping in certain locations? I can register grocery cards? And I can link a 529 plan to my child’s account? I can even link public school donations to my child’s account? Have you projected how much four years of college will cost in say, fifteen years?
Sign me up.
2. Got life insurance.
Everyone tends to think that if they are employed, their company’s life insurance policy is adequate to cover their children. Please. Go get at least a term life insurance policy to match your debt, and if you’re feeling really clever, tie yourself to a policy that has cash value for your kids, where you don’t have to necessarily die to give them a little extra money.
You’ll sleep better.
3. Create a budget and set aside savings.
You have children now. Do you really need that midlife crisis car, or the super-expensive jeans, or the enormous McManison in the suburbs? Not likely.
Save a little money for your kid’s future. The online services for some banks make it really easy to tell how much you’re actually spending on items – I know, I used one of those banks to help me do my taxes this year in a snap. So you don’t have to log every single purchase that you make every day to come up with a reasonable budget with reasonable expectations. Make it happen. Then save.
These are but a few ideas. There are a lot of other good ideas out there for the forwarding thinking parent on the go. Feel free to leave yours in the comments.