Here is something that I bet no other parent you know that has a one year old is doing for their child – I’m already saving for my daughter’s first car as well as her wedding. WHAT?! Who does that? This guy does that. I’ve set aside $25 for each of these in an investment account at Betterment. This $50 set aside each month in these two accounts should be about $9k in her car account when she turns 16 and $20k in her wedding account when she turns 25. That’s $50 that we won’t even notice. This account is in addition to the $200 a month we put into Addie’s 529 Plan as soon as she was born. Thank you budgeting.
Saving with a Purpose.
It’s funny how having a child changes your whole perspective on saving. In this culture we’re too focused on spending now and not worried about saving for the future. YOLO, right? The major disconnect when my wife saved money in the past is that I often felt she hoarded money for no real purpose. Sure, we had a house and two paid off cars, but other than that we didn’t really have any financial goals – until Addie was born. When you have a kid, it’s all about saving for the future. And more so than not, it’s about HER FUTURE.
The Future is Now.
One day my daughter will get married. She’ll graduate high school and college. She’ll be able to drive a car (unless hoverboards become widely available). Since my daughter’s teeth is growing kind of crooked, I’m sure she’ll need braces eventually. My wife and I will grow old and want to retire one day. The future is now – the earlier we start saving for these things, the easier it will be for our family when the time comes. All of our investments are automatically deducted from our checking account at the beginning of the month so we don’t even notice it.
Enjoying Today, Focusing on Tomorrow.
Some might think that by being too focused on saving for tomorrow we might miss out on what’s happening right now. I would disagree. Through the awesomeness that is The Budget, we’re able to prioritize saving while enjoying today. We don’t want Addie to feel deprived of life experiences for the sake of saving. My wife and I always try to take our daughter out on mini excursions and we’d like to take her on vacation as she gets older. I know that I’ll probably spoil her with gifts more than this cheap dad would like to admit. Hopefully, not too much 😉 I think what’s important is that we don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, that Addie will always be provided.
Hopefully saving a little bit here and there will make life a little easier for her.