• It Now Costs $230,000 to raise a kid, here's how parents can prepare


    Originally posted on Quora, reprinted on Apple News and Inc. Download the app here!

    Should I start investing in any college savings funds now, for my future children?

    It’s great to plan ahead. So the short answer is yes, it’s best to save for your children’s futures as early as possible. But the explanation requires taking a look at where things stand.

    The average cost of a raising a child through age 18 is now more than $230,000, according to the U.S. government. (You can estimate your total at the USDA website.) Morgan Stanley found that the cost jumped nearly 70% over just 15 years.

    Between that and other aspects of the economy, parents rarely have a lot of extra income sitting around to put into college funds. In fact, while 98% of parents say saving for other child’s future is important, only 57% managed to save anything in the previous year.

    ‘Extreme’ need for financial aid

    Meanwhile, the cost of college has continued to soar. The College Board finds that tuitions and fees are up at private and public colleges. So, to many parents, saving enough to one day pay for college seems to be an insurmountable challenge — and the magnitude of that challenge can prevent us from getting started.

    Then time flies and, before we know it, our kids are in high school. A survey found that parents plan to cover 70% of the total cost of college, but they’re on track to cover only 29% by the time their child starts freshman year.

    This helps explain why the number of parents who say financial aid is “extremely” necessary spiked from 63% in 2017 to 69% in 2018, according to annual reports from the Princeton Review.

    Why saving matters

    Though it can seem overwhelming, there are still very strong reasons to start a college fund. The biggest is that kids with even just a small amount saved up are much more likely to graduate from college.

    The figures on this are staggering. A study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis focusing on children from low- or moderate-income (LMI) families found:

    “An LMI child with school savings of $1 to $499 before college age is more than three times more likely to enroll in college than an LMI child with no savings account and more than four and half times more likely to graduate. In addition, an LMI child with school savings of $500 or more is about five times more likely to graduate from college than a child with no savings account.”

    Having at least some savings can also help reduce the stress experienced by parents and students when it comes time to face college costs. And the earlier you start an account, the more likely you are to add to it and let it grow over time. Likewise, teaching your kids the habit and practice of saving is a fundamental life skill that is essential for a secure future.

    A new paradigm

    As a mom, I was having these conversations with lots of friends. I realized there could be a solution that embraces technology and online communities to help alleviate some of this stress. So I founded a startup, Kidfund, to help families save in a whole new way. We’re now working together with a leading nonprofit in this space, the Council for Economic Education.

    Our users download our free app, create an account, save a bit of money when they can (we recommend auto-recurring transfers, no matter how small!), and get some interest. On their kids’ birthdays and other special occasions, instead of gifts they invite family and friends to make contributions into those accounts for their kids’ futures. Parents can show their kids’ their funds and the support they’ve received along the way from their community.

    The benefits are far-reaching. It helps teach kids good savings habits and encourages them to plan for their futures.

    This is also an arena in which we all can help each other. Rather than reinforcing the inequalities inherent in our communities, we’ve designed Kidfund for anyone to be able to donate a portion of their funds to families in need.

    It’s important to speak with financial advisers to consider any and all options, including 529 college savings plans.

    Saving money is hard regardless of your income level. Families today navigate all kinds of pressures that make it easy to spend and not as easy to save. We start with the best of intentions, but get distracted along the way. Even when we receive cash gifts they sometimes don’t make it that final mile into savings accounts. But if we get proactive and make saving something we can do just by tapping a button on our phones, it creates a healthy habit. And that, in the long run, can make all the difference.

    A springboard to every future, Kidfund is helping to empower the next generation to save and grow meaningful assets through a socially-powered savings app. To level the playing field for the next generation, our families can choose to donate a percentage of incoming gifts to accounts for kids in need. Download the app and start saving today.

Our Kids Need to Be More Financially Literate. Why Aren’t Schools Helping?


The effort to improve financial literacy in schools has stalled. Here’s how we can turn that around.

Read more >

Saving Money in the Uber Economy

NYMetro Parents

Why is it so easy to spend money through an app—call a car, order food, buy a coffee—but not as easy to save it?

Read more >

Give the Gift of Savings

During the holidays, we added the ability to “Give the Gift of Savings” so you could help anyone save, even if they’re not on Kidfund yet. It was so popular that we decided to make it a permanent button right on the home screen!

Read more >
Kids Books

14 Books That Will Teach Your Kids About Money

National Reading Awareness Month is upon us, and we’re giving you the tools to take advantage! Your kids will thank you, and it’s always nice to have some read-aloud time if you choose to take that route.

Read more >

Millenials are changing the landscape of nonprofit giving

Justin Miller / Forbes.com
Oct 11, 2017

Why is this generation, which is perceived as one of the most cause-driven, socially motivated and generous generations so difficult to engage financially?

Read more >

The Science Behind Why You Don't Save (And What To Do About It)

Time.com / John Beshears, Money
JULY 26, 2016

Psychological obstacles prevent us from making the right choices.
So what is the problem? Why don’t we save?

Read more >

Can The Best Financial Tips Fit On An Index Card?

JANUARY 8, 2016

The best financial advice is not as complicated as it may seem. A few scribbled tips will have you well on your way so savings bliss.

Read more >

Millennials may be history’s most competent parents. Here’s why.

Anne K. Halsall, Winnie
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

Some have called them “generation me”, but as millennials have families they are shifting their attentions — and their identities—to parenting.

Read more >

The Best Apps for New Dads

Our CTO Tim recently had his second kid. He took the opportunity to reflect on the apps that helped him as a new dad.

Read more >
Want to deepen your understanding about why things are as they are? Here are two books that inspired the creation of Kidfund.
Nudge Book with savings tips
Scarcity Book to help reach your savings potential