Tuesday, September 23

Need money? Stop indulging your kids

This article was published in the Singapore "The New Paper" on 22 Sep 2008.

Need money? Stop indulging your kids

Tough love is the best love for your finances. -TNP

Suze Orman

Wed, Sep 24, 2008
The New Paper

WHETHER you are a single parent, or a couple with one of you at home full-time, figuring out how to pay for the everyday family expenses while also saving for retirement on just one pay cheque is a tough challenge.

Consider some of these income-stretching moves:

Don't save (or save less) for your children's college education

You cannot afford to save for your children's college education if it means you will be shortchanging your retirement investing.

Your child can get aid and loans for college. No one is going to be ready to help you in retirement.

Love your children - don't indulge them

Look, I get that children want to have the same wardrobe and gizmos as their friends. That's just human nature.

But this is one of those places where the hard work of parenting needs to be done.

Take a look at your credit card statements for the past three months. I bet there are a few hundred dollars spent on indulgences for your children. That has to stop.

You have to start teaching them about being fiscally responsible. A $150 pair of jeans or an iPod is not some monthly birthright.

If they want to keep up with the high school Joneses, then they can get a part-time job. That's not punishment. That's stand-up parenting.

Watch those self-indulgences, too!

It's not all about the children. You have a bad day at work and reward yourself with a new pair of shoes. Or you go out to lunch with the gang at work five days a week.

Cut back and you are looking at extra savings. Take lunch to work once in a while, and you have more money to invest in your retirement fund.

Small sacrifices are crucial to the success of any savings plan.

Consider making a move

This one is admittedly a very big step, but it can make all the difference for you and your family. If you live in an expensive area, it makes sense to consider moving to a new area.

It may even be just a few miles away. Just think of the financial breathing room it could give you.

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