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Financial Tips for Raising a Family

Financial Q&A for Parents on StageofLife.comFinancial Q & A for Parents

Are you raising a family and looking to save money?  Do you have questions about your family budget?  Stage of Life has financial tips and money saving articles below tailored to parents (single or married) raising a family. 

If you have a financial question about raising children, submit it to us, and we'll ask either Lauren (our resident Stage of Life Financial Literacy guru) or one of our financial experts. 

Raising a Family - Ask Stage of Life your Money Question We'll then post your financial question and the feedback here on the Stage of Life Financial Tips page for Raising a Family.  In the meantime, read the money saving articles and Q & A responses below that could be helpful to parents...

Etiquette Tips for Families

Organic Foods are Expensive

Question:  What tips do you have for eating healthy on a budget?

Stage of Life Answer:   This is a question that applies to almost everyone.  Too often our busy lives push us into routines where we make poor decisions about the types of food we eat.  However, time isn't always the culprit for why we don't eat healthy.  Many times, it's budget related.  Quality foods often cost more.

We tackle this issue in a longer Stage of Life feature article entitled, "Eating Healthy on a Budget."  We provide six specific tips for eating and living healthy...on a budget...

Eating Healthy on a Budget - Stage of Life Feature Article
Back to School Savings?

Question:  What tips do you have for Back to School savings?

Stage of Life Answer:   Our Financial Literacy partner, Lauren Podolsky, addressed this member question in a feature article called, "Top Five Back to School Money Saving Tips for Parents and Students."  

Click the View Website button below to read the article...

Top 5 Backy to School Money Saving Tips
Top 10 Financial Tips for Life

Question:  Since this is a website about life, what are your Top 10 financial recommendations...for life?

Stage of Life Answer:   Wow...that's a big question.  In fact, as we poised this question to our team, we realized we would need more space than what's commonly carved out for the Q & A responses on this page. 

So we dedicated an entire page to answering your question.  To see our Top 10 Money Tips, click the View Website button below...

Top 10 Money Tips for Life
Buying a Car - New or Used?

Question:  I need to buy a car, should I buy used or new?

Stage of Life Answer:   Ahhh...the eternal car question.  New or Used?  I know people who have ONLY bought new cars over the course of their entire lives, and those who have ONLY bought used. 

My take?

Buying a car is not an investment and is actually considered a depreciating asset, meaning it will it will never be worth more than what you paid for it.  A new car depreciates the minute you drive it from the showroom floor.  In the first year of ownership, a new car can lose up to 20 percent of its value, and by the fifth year, your car will depreciated by over 65 percent.

Purchasing a late-model pre-owned car makes more financial sense than buying a car that will lose 20 percent of its value in 20 minutes.

Now, if you love that new car smell, then my advice won't sway you too much...will it?  :)

Have fun with your "new" car!

Ask Your Question:  Do you have a money or finance question about your life?

Planning for Life

Question:  What is the best way to budget for my future?

Answer:  Just like there is no way to predict our future successes or failures, there really isn’t an exact approach to fully predict your financial future. No matter how much money you think you will be making, life has a way to throwing a few curve balls at us, and as you get older, those curve balls seems to become more costly. 

The best thing you can do is to start saving. 

Open up a high yield savings account and start depositing small amounts into it on a routine.  For example, make a promise to yourself that you will put $25 a month into your savings account and leave it there!  If you can do more, do more. 

Overtime, your money will grow and you will have built a solid safety net of funds to fall back on. Let’s face it, we are all going to encounter significant financial needs in our lives at some point whether that be buying a car, getting married, going to grad school or buying a house. It’s important to plan for big expenses even if we really aren’t sure what those expenses will be.

Print out the free Stage of Life budget worksheet.

Ask Your Question:  Do you have a money or finance question about your life?

Pay Yourself First

Question:  My budget is tight, but I've heard about the paying yourself first concept.   Should I pay off my expenses first each month or set aside some money in savings first and then pay expenses?

Stage of Life Answer:  Set aside money in savings first.  This is called “Paying Yourself First” which is a concept that I wish more people could get the hang of.  It’s simple really.  Every time you earn income, take a percentage of that and place it aside into a savings account or other means of savings.  The remaining income is used to pay for your expenses.  It’s good to develop this routine without even thinking about it and a great way to do this would be to set up a direct deposit account.  When your paycheck is deposited electronically, a set amount (that you choose) will automatically be placed into a separate account that you have designated as savings.  Why do we do this?  One word, emergencies! They will happen and the only way to prepare for them is to save.

Now, if you find yourself with not enough money to pay your expenses at the end of each month, you need to look at your expenses and trim your budget by cutting out necessary expenses.

Ask Your Question:  Do you have a money or finance question about your life?

Understanding your money - budgeting

Question:  What is a budget?

Answer:  A budget is a financial blueprint of all of your expenses for a fixed period of time. A budget lists all of your future income and expenses and keeps track of the money coming in and the money going out.  The goal of your budget each month should be to balance or even better, to have a surplus of income. A budget will give you a better understanding of your finances and will help you plan for future expenses.  I recommend a budget to any person that is earning and spending money. If you don’t know where your money is going, you’re likely to get yourself into some serious financial trouble down the road.

Print out the free Stage of Life budget worksheet.

Ask Your Question:  Do you have a money or finance question about your life?

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