Welcome. By clicking on this page you have indicated an interest in learning tips and strategies that may help you better prepare your child for the future that awaits them. Most of what we will relay to you is geared for just that, however we do provide counseling and ideas for everyone regardless of age. If you haven’t given thought to a good financial plan for your yourself, you may find the most effective way of going about this journey is to plan alongside your child or children. Do it as a family!
Lets start with some basic steps that your child can accomplish BEFORE turning 18. These activities will help your child have a better sense of the business of money, and the business of life.
- Open a checking and savings account.
- File a tax return
- Make a budget
- Set up an automatic monthly transfer
- Open an IRA or Roth IRA Account
- Process an educational planning worksheet
- Set a savings goal
- Open a credit card
- Learn about stocks
- Learn about bonds
Open a checking and savings account
Every teenager should get accustomed to having and operating a basic transaction account. Even if they use Venmo and other services, most will require a bank account to credit and draw from. Most banks will link a free checking account, and that helps your youngster understand that some money is to be spent and some is to be saved.
File a tax return
Your child is not legally required to file a return unless they have earned income exceeding $12,550 or unearned income exceeding $1,150. Regardless they can benefit by going through the exercise, and gaining some understanding about how taxes work and why we pay them.
Make a budget
Depending on your child’s age, their budget may be very basic and limited. That’s okay. Let them gain experience in laying out their spending and savings goals at a young age. It’s a discipline that will serve them well in life.
Set up automatic monthly transfer
This can be as simple as a $10 money transfer from checking to savings – or they might fund an IRA or other long term savings account. It’s the idea that something happens regularly every month, and that when the money transfers it has moved outside their control.
Open an IRA or Roth-IRA Account
The power of an IRA or ROTH IRA is unmatched. Most parents don’t realize that their child can start one (done as a custodial IRA until they are legal age), as soon as they begin making money. And yes, those earnings CAN be allowance – just keep good records.
Process an education planning worksheet
The best way for your child and your family to manage the cost of college, is to start planning for it at a young age. We can help you with access to a program that you and child can do together. If they are already nearing their senior year in high school, consider mapping out several scenarios and what they cost. The typical student takes just over 21 years to repay their student loans. If we can keep the payment around that of an average car payment, they should never be overwhelmed by student loan debt. But it takes a plan!
Set a savings goal
It doesn’t have to be much, and it can be for whatever timeframe makes it fun and do-able, but consider allowing your child to experience the sense of challenge and reward that comes with setting a financial goal. In time their ability to strive for and hit financial goals will serve them well!
Open a credit card
You’ll never hear us say that every teenager needs a credit card. However most young adults will have one by the time they turn 20, and it’s a good idea to help your teenager understand spending and borrowing discipline when they are still under your watchful eye.
Learn about stocks
If your child has a productive working life, they will undoubtably be investing in stocks at one time or another. But ignorance about stock investing can mean they are risk, and vulnerable to bad advice. Learning the basics is easy – and it will serve them well!
Learn about bonds
Bonds are even easier to learn than stocks, but maybe even more important. Technically this is the safer investment route, but there are potential pitfalls here as well. Basic knowledge is the best defense against a bad investment experience. Not as much fun to learn as stocks – but just as important!