Having Kids? Here’s How to Plan for Real Life


Whether your babies are just a dream or have made their great debut, planning for their future is likely your top priority. Here’s how to get started.


Plan with Today’s Budget in Mind


You already know your current salary and expenses. What you don’t know is how either of those may change in the future. As you’re starting your savings plan, consider where you are now. Don’t assume that you will be able to save more because you plan to get a raise future. If you do wind up with a significant salary increase, then you will already be used to living one way and can direct your financial windfall toward paying off debt or fattening your emergency fund.


Don’t Neglect Your Own Needs


One of the worst things you can do for your children is to fund their education but fail to take your own future needs into account. While paying for their degree is an admirable goal, if you have nothing left once you have bought the cap and gown, they will be the ones obligated to take care of you financially in your golden years. The Merrill Edge personal retirement calculator can help you figure out how much you’ll need to live comfortably depending on the age you plan to retire. Hint: It’s a lot more than college.


Set It and Forget It


The single easiest way to save money without budgeting is to simply have it transferred out of your account before you ever see it. Check with your bank about creating an automatic transfer on a recurring schedule. Each time you get a raise, up your amount so you learn to live without a higher income. If you can save just $50 per week, you’ll have nearly $8,000 at the end of three years. You can use this money to pay off debt, fund a 529 college savings plan, or invest. Check out Business Insider’s review of the best college savings plans.


Look for Ways to Save


There are plenty of ways to save dollars and cents that will add up in the long run. As an added bonus, many of the things you can do around your house are also environmentally friendly and will teach your children responsible stewardship. Installing high-quality storm windows and energy-efficient appliances, for instance, will save money off your monthly utility bills. Other small actions, such as reducing your water consumption, insulating the attic and garage, and fixing air and water leaks, will further lower your homeownership costs. Check with your cable and internet providers once each year for new specials, which can help you hold on to $600 or more each contract period – enough for at least a few freshman textbooks.


Avoid the “Overdo It” Personality


One huge mistake many new parents make is over-indulging their children’s wants and needs. Not only does this teach them that they can have anything they want, but it’s also wasteful and can put a strain on your wallet. Avoid the temptation to have the best of everything. When it’s time to buy a new vehicle, choose used. A used car or truck will have already depreciated, meaning you’ll lose less if you ever sell it. Buying a new home should be purchased with the same logical approach; however, depending on market conditions, it may be less expensive to purchase land and build. If your children grow up accustomed to living moderately, they will become adults who do the same.


These ideas can get you started, but talk to your financial advisor or local bank. These professionals can help provide you with personalized service and the most up-to-date information on investment accounts and savings strategies.



Tips and Strategies to Collect Travel and Souvenir Pins

gray and black dress pins
Photo by Nikita Khandelwal on Pexels.com

Like many people, as you travel, you like to gather an item or two to serve as remembrances of a trip. One type of easy to collect travel or souvenir memorabilia that is easy to find while traveling are pins of different types. Through this article, you are presented some ideas and suggestions about collecting souvenir and similar types of pins while traveling


Souvenir Pins from Major Family Resorts


When it comes to collecting pin associated with travel and vacations, those that come from major family resort destinations consistently top the list as the most favored. Nearly all major family resorts, like Disney and Universal Studios properties, offer a considerable array of different types of collectable and souvenir pins.


The spectrum of collectible Disney pins will be used to illustrate the breadth of what can be done in regard to pins while traveling. The inventory of Disney collectable pins is amazing. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different types of collectable pins available at any given time at the various Disney resort properties.


In addition to being brilliant ways to commemorate a marvelous family trip to a Disney resort, these pins are also sound collectables. By this it is meant that developing a collection of Disney pins can result in something that grows in value over time. This includes not only monetary value but sentimental value as well.


A significant trend in the past decade is the ever increasing number of young people that trade Disney pins. Collecting pins while at a Disney resort is an easy way through which a young person can garner his or her own “inventory” of  Disney pins for lively trading.


A tip to bear in mind when at a Disney property: characters who walk about at Disney resorts will nearly always bestow a collectable pin on a young guest who asks. This can not only result in a guest of the resort gaining a truly unique pin but also having a truly memorable moment that will be long cherished.


Commemorative Pins from Special Events and Celebrations


If your travels will include attendance at some type of special event or celebration, you likely will find yourself involved in a function in which commemorative pins of some type will be available.


These types of commemorative pins oftentimes become items that are treasured into the future. They provide a wonderful way of memorializing what may have been a wonderful experience at a unique event.


Depending on the event there is also a chance that commemorative pins become collectables that increase in value over time. If you are like a surprising number of people of different ages and walks of life, collecting pins from specific events and celebrations can prove to be a fairly sure means of establishing a collection that increases in value into the future.


Tips on Creating a Pin Collection


As you, or your kids, begin to amass pins from your vacation travels, you and yours may develop an interest in pin collecting. You or your kids may want to start a pin collection. If this proves to be the case, there are some important tips you will want to ponder when it comes to creating a pin collection.


A key pointer to bear in mind when you determine you want to start a pin collection is to narrow your focus. By this it is meant that you will have the best luck and most enjoyment by focusing your collecting efforts on one type or category of pin.


You might be surprised as to how narrow you really should make your focus. For example, if think that collecting Disney pins is a narrow focus, you would be a bit off course. A fairly narrow focus would be collecting Disney princess pins. A truly narrow focus would be collecting Disney pins associated with one of the princesses.


Another way you can narrow the focus of your pin collecting efforts is to select a particular category and era. For example, you might want to begin building a collection of pins in a particular category that were created in the 1980s or another decade.


A pin collection property started and managed can result in something that proves to be valuable in the future. As was mentioned earlier in regard to pin collecting, this value comes in the form of monetary and sentimental. A pin collection can end up a matter of pride, a result that occurs for adults and children alike.




Jessica Kane is a writer for The Monterey Company, who have been manufacturing custom lapel pins for over 25 years.