As any parent can tell you, kids are expensive. Along with shelling out a substantial amount of dough to pay for the little buggers right now, parents also have to figure out how to teach their kids about all of that money. In an attempt to make this all a bit easier, this mom invented an app to help parents save money for their kid's future and her story behind it is really an inspiration.
Mother of two Laura Bailyn is no stranger to the economic pressures that come with parenthood. These very pressures are what led to the idea behind Kidfund, her handy app that makes saving for children a lot easier. Bailyn explained to Babble that she was bringing up her two baby boys in New York City and received a series of well-intended birthday gifts for the kids that added up to a lot of money spent and none saved.
The first 10 years of their lives passed without Bailyn ever opening individual bank accounts for them or teaching them about saving and managing money. When she realized how financially unprepared her family was, she knew it was time for action. These facts combined with concerns over future costs are just a small part of what led her to design her app.
She told Babble that the reason at the heart of her creation goes a lot deeper though. She shared that she was "motivated by the unfairness of wealth inequality" and saw a need to "provide pathways and support for the next generation." Bailyn also realized that a small amount of money can make a big impact on a family in need and provide "educational attainment and economic mobility" for children in low-income homes, she explained to Babble.
While she was worried about her own's children's future, she realizes the privilege that they were born into. Bailyn explained that along with wanting to help her own family, she also wanted to find a way to help others, telling Babble:
It’s just random luck what family a baby is born into. I want to live in a world where that is not the end of the story. I want to live in a world that gives every child a chance to realize their unique potential. And if our government isn’t going to do it, then why not do it ourselves. That is the beauty of networked technology. Transferring money around a network is actually a very tangible thing we can do.
Kidfund makes this kind of transferring possible. Parents are able to deposit money into a savings account with either once or reoccurring transactions, and they can send a portion of it to another child in need if they'd like. Parents can invite friends and family members to participate in the saving and set up a cash gift registry for birthdays and holidays, all free of cost.
Considering the hefty cost of raising a child — $233,000 total, according to NBC News — it is never too early to start saving. Beth Walker, a certified college planning specialist at The Wealth Consulting Group, told CNN that putting money away for their children shouldn't stop them from money management in general:
Saving for college and retirement are parallel savings time lines, not sequential. Parents unknowingly say, "I will fund college and then focus on retirement," but they need to be doing both at the same time.
All of this can be complicated, but fortunately for parents who don't know where to start, Bailyn designed Kidfund to be easy and it is all completely free. Accounts are fully insured up to $250,000 and provide 3 percent interest on the first $500, according to the app's official website.
Whether or not Kidfund is your financial tool of choice, it's helpful to know that there is another tool out there to help because — even though it can be stressful and daunting — planning for your child's future is a necessity.
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