By BonnieTorrez on Wednesday, 03 September 2014
Category: Rancho Cucamonga Blogs

How to Optimize Your Family’s Finances

Infertility is expensive. There is no way to sugar coat the reality that many people need to be creative with their financing in regard to becoming pregnant. Yet, after the couple becomes a family of three (or more) – there often is a voi with saving for the future.   To help with that discussion - HRC Fertility of Rancho Cucamonga enlisted blogger, Margaret McSweeney, to discuss the “next steps” of saving for your family.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released a report during August 2014 about how much money is spent on raising kids. Some report over $250,000 per child! (Not including college expense.)

As we all know, it costs a lot of money each year to raise a family; however, the value of that sweet giggle and smile is priceless. So don’t panic. Get empowered! There are some great resources to help you navigate through the financial landscape for all ages and stages. As a former New York City banker, I analyzed a lot of income statements.

The formula is simple: Revenue minus Expenses equals Income. You can’t always change your revenue, but you can always manage your expenses.

Families don’t have to sacrifice all of their fun for finances. An excellent online resource for families is Mommy on a Shoestring.

Beth Engelman’s column appears in over 30 papers in the Chicago area, and she is one of 15 national “mom correspondents” for iVillage. Beth provides great ideas for travel, entertainment, food, clothing and education that won’t break a family’s budget. She features some creative do-it-yourself projects as well. Beth recommends “going for quality over quantity as much as possible. “   (Beth also has written about her own infertility which ended with the birth of her son, JRB. Read more about her story here. )

 

How to save for the coming years?

College years may seem like a lifetime away; however, it’s never too early to start saving for your child’s college education. According to Tony Luczkiw, CPA, investment advisor and owner of CBC Tax and Accounting, “The 529 Plan is probably the best plan to fund the educational expenses for college because of its ownership and flexibility benefits.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides a descriptive and comparative overview of prepaid tuition plans and 529 college savings plans, along with tax considerations.

This government website also provides an excellent link to the College Savings Plan Network created by the National Association of State Treasurers that provides links to most 529 plan websites throughout the country. This resource is user friendly so you can access specific information about 529 college savings plan in your state.

Another excellent resource is Jodi Okun, who is an expert on financial aid for college. Her sage advice is now considered the template from birth through college.

And of course there is the old-fashioned way of saving, the piggy bank, or in my case a Mason jar. My wonderful mother-in-law gave me some great advice after the birth of my daughters. She encouraged me to put extra coins from pockets, backpacks and purses into a jar in the kitchen and then start a savings account for each child. As an empty nester, I am happy to report that after 18 years of putting coins in a jar, both of my daughters have a few thousand dollars in their savings account. And they are continuing the tradition.

Yes, raising a child can cost a lot of dollar signs, but there are available resources that will help you prepare. And remember that the best investment in your child is your love and time.

About the Author: Margaret McSweeney is an author, blogger, and radio host. She resides in the Chicago area and can be found on TWITTER as @McSweeney. Margaret is a regular staff blogger for HRC Rancho Cucamonga.