LearnVest is a wonderful resource for women of all ages. You can easily learn all of the basics on everything from student loans to saving for retirement, get access to simple financial tools and checklists, and so much more.
Money Management Resources for Women
Please don’t wait another day to get your personal finances in order. My parents told me at a very young age, “if you can’t pay for it at the end of the month – you can’t buy it.” I basically thought of a credit card as a way to consolidate expense so I would just have to write one check. It was never anything more. I have never not paid off all of my credit card balances at the end of the month. I never wanted to owe anyone a cent. Needless to say, taking out my first mortgage was a little scary, but I was well prepared.
I know that a lot of women aren’t as lucky as I was to have parents help me early on and ensure I knew how to manage my money. It looks like more resources are popping up to help women everywhere get in control of their financial situation. Here are a few places to help you get started.
It is time to break out your piggy bank and start saving!
Saving Money for College
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your child is an education. Unfortunately, the price of tuition from preschool to graduate school continues to rise every year. It is getting harder and harder for families to afford the cost of a quality education, particularly if you have multiple offspring.
A number of universities have made significant changes to their financial aid packages including top tier institutions such as Stanford, Harvard and Yale. Under the new financial aid program at Stanford, parents with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer pay tuition. Parents with annual incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to pay tuition or contribute to the costs of room, board and other expenses. Students will still be expected to contribute their earnings from work during the summer and academic year. If your income exceeds these limits, you better start saving now.
As soon as your child gets home from the hospital, you may want to set up a 529 account in his or her name. This is a great way to start saving. Even if you open the account with just $100, it is a step in the right direction. Every state offers different 529 account options and the limits to annual contributions are quite high. There are different fees and taxes associated with each account so you need shop around, and talk to your accountant, to find the account that is best for you and your child. Here are a few links to get you started.
LearnVest – free tools to help you figure out how much you will need to save for your child’s college education
MSN Money – a review of the best college savings plans
Savingforcollege.com – an Internet guide to funding college and Section 529 college savings plans
SimpleTuition – information and resources to help you compare a number of federal & private student loans options
U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission – introduction to 529 accounts
One way to get your extended family and friends to help you save is to sign up for Upromise. A portion of all expenditures goes towards college tuition. They also have resources to help educate families on 529 accounts and student loans. Join Upromise and earn up to 8% of your bill in college savings rewards when you dine out at any of over 8,000 participating restaurants.
Stock Investing for Kids
It is important to teach children about saving money. This usually starts out with a weekly allowance and a savings account at a local bank. Another great idea is to start teaching children about the pros and cons of the stock market (even in these volatile times). A number of institutions have equity accounts specifically geared towards children.
Money – Games & Books
It is never too early to teach children the value of a dollar. Growing up, the only game most of us had to teach us about investing was Monopoly. Today, there are many games on the market to teach children about saving and managing money.
Monopoly by Hasbro
Piggy Banks & More
Here are a number of interesting resources I have found related to family & money.
Allowance Manager – a free tool for parents to manage a child’s allowance online
Minyanville – cash centric social networking site for children
Money Savvy Generation – information, piggy banks and other resources
Books & DVDs
The Financially Intelligent Parent: 8 Steps To Raising Successful, Generous, Responsible Children
by Eileen Gallo and Jon Gallo
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money
by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
If You Made a Million
by David M. Schwartz
The Go-Around Dollar
by Barbara Johnston Adams
A Chair for My Mother
by Vera B. Williams
The Money Mammals DVD
“Teaching children about money by helping them learn to share, save and spend smart.”
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