It was once thought that only the wealthy could save enough to afford a good college education for their children. That just is not true. There are plenty of ways for the middle-class and lower-income households to save for their children’s futures, as well.Consider the Coverdell Education Savings Account, which allows you to save up to $2000 annually for your child’s future education. You can make deposits into the account until its beneficiary reaches the age of eighteen. The contributions are not tax-deductible, but the distribution withdrawals are not taxed. This is a classic way to grow wealth and you will be able to use the money for most school-related expenses.You may also want to consider a College Savings Plan, one of two 529 plans available for college education savings. Under this plan, you can choose from a variety of investment options and you will not pay taxes when the funds are withdrawn to use for education.The second 529 plan is the Prepaid Tuition Plan. It basically allows you to pay today’s prices for tomorrow’s tuition. By pre-purchasing your child’s education, you lock in his or her future tuition at today’s prices.If you invest early in Savings Bonds for Education, they can work well to help finance your children’s future education. The plus to this investment is that the money can be pulled at any time to use in case of a financial emergency.If your child is approaching college age now and you have no savings on hand for their education, there are still tax credits available to you. Right now the American Opportunity Tax Credit is the best of these options. You can also qualify for lifetime learning credits, classroom expenses deductions, and tax deductions for higher education fees and tuition.The IRS usually does not allow a taxpayer to claim more than one large college savings plan on their income tax return, so you will want to be careful and deliberate in choosing the right option for you.You would probably benefit from a conversation with a financial planner to discuss the best way to save for your child’s future education, and remember that it is never too soon to start.
For many families, kids and money don’t mix well because they were never taught proper money management. However, kids and teens today must be taught practical money management skills in order to live a more rewarding life.The concept of ‘kids and money’ raises many questions for parents that want to teach their kids about money management. Many parents don’t realize that the majority of schools lack a class that gives students a practical financial education. Many more parents feel about as comfortable having the ‘birds and bee talk’ and they do having the ‘kids and money’ talk. It’s no wonder recent studies show that more parents talk to their kids about sex rather than money.This article will guide you in developing your own “Money Talk” to have with your children. Most people recognize the importance of teaching kids about money, yet so many fail to do so. A big part of the reason is because most parents don’t know where to start. Follow the tips below when you have your ‘kids and money talk’,1) Practical: Focus your ‘kids and money talk’ on the practical application of the subject rather than theory, history, definitions and other less usable information. They can pick up theory overtime; First, teach them how they can apply practical money skills to their life.2) Story: Stories are an excellent way to teach kids about money and make the learning process fun. Sharing personal stories help you to truly connect with them and relate to them on a memorable level. If you’re not comfortable sharing your own stories, third party stories are great as well.3) Relax: You ‘kids and money talk’ does not need to be stressful. Realize that you are there with good intentions to give the participants information that will change their lives. Breath, have fun and understand the presentation does not have to be perfect.4) Content: Make sure your content is relevant, up-to-date and is something that your kids can relate to. You can get quality financial education tips from organizations like the National Youth Financial Educators Council and other quality organizations. Times are changing faster than ever before so always seek out up-to-date stories and topics that your students can relate to.5) Prepared: Before having your ‘kids and money talk’ be prepared and practice your presentation. Focus on money lessons which motivate, educate, and engage your children as well as inspire them to take action.It is much more effective to begin teaching your children how to handle their money their money from the time they are young rather than waiting until they are teenagers. Teach them money is exchanged for work by having them complete various household tasks in exchange for “pay.”. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a large sum of money, and in fact, it shouldn’t be. It should only serve as an incentive to teach them responsibility and reward.If you do teach your children to respect money as well as themselves, then they shouldn’t have a problem when they become adults. For one thing, they will know that money doesn’t grow on trees, as the old adage goes. It more often than not requires effort to earn money.In teaching kids about money, you should encourage them to have different piggy banks for different uses. For instance, one piggy bank could easily be their spending money for chewing gum and other little items. A second piggy bank, could be used for them to save money for a larger items they may want to purchase. For example, they may want an electronic game that they will have to save money on their own, in order to acquire. Another for money they want to donate. And finally, they must be encouraged to have a real savings accounts or piggy bank. This is money they are not to access.Purpose to discuss money with your children. It is a conversation that will help them their entire life.