What would you say if I told you there were strategies you could use to help your child acquire real wealth before [s]he even turned eighteen? That when [s]he DID, there would be enough of his/her OWN money to pay for college? Would you be interested, or call me a liar and move on?
Well I have 5 tips for you that will do what I say: help your kids acquire real wealth. They are simple strategies, easy to use, and can be implemented by anyone. They can even be tweaked by families that can’t use all the tips:
1.) A clever tax deduction: Do you own a small business? Whether run from your home or another location, “hire” your kids to work there. Write them out paychecks for their work, as you would for any employee, so the IRS will see they are working for you in earnest, and not just as a half-hearted attempt that you as a business owner really do not understand.
A home-based business is excellent for smaller kids, although you must keep in mind that they are to EARN what you pay them. They don’t have to know what a paycheck is: just make sure you are up-to-date on the labor laws for kids, and the amount of time they are allowed to work.
Having your child [or children] work for you as an employee gives you lots of deductions at Tax Time you wouldn’t ordinarily have.
2.) Open a bank account: Find out the minimum requirement for opening an account in your child’s name, and do so once your child has acquired enough money in pay. The interest the account accrues can be used as the first, easiest tool for teaching the child about money. Just think of it as “Saving Money 101”.
3.) Investments: Along with the saving’s account, there are basic investments you can use for the child’s future. Bank CD’S and IRA accounts allowed by the government are a couple of safe investment avenues. The interest never diminishes, and again, teaches the child about monetary responsibility. No matter his or her age, the child will sense or know there is something grown up about what is happening, whether [s]he knows what a paycheck is or not. You as parent should give the child as much information as the child asks about.
4.) A special strategy: Have your child start a business of his or her own. This is easier than it sounds. If your child has real talent with a computer, look into buying Web Design software; web design is hot, hot, hot these days, with no end in sight, and Web Design is a job that is recession proof. Companies will always want a store online, because the Internet makes money. SEASONED web designers make really GOOD money, as well. It’s listed as one of the top 10 recession proof jobs there are.
Other jobs kids can start themselves are lawn care services, dog-walking for neighbors, and photography. Lawn care of course is mowing, but can include raking leaves, or blowing them away from driveways, steps, etc.
My nephews started out mowing at ages 12 and 14, and by giving out business cards around the neighborhood soon had enough clients to buy their own equipment. By summer’s end, they were making $4,000 dollars a month. Their mom taught them what they needed to know about taxes, and saving in an IRA, etc., and by the time they were old enough for college, they had all the money they needed. Mom and dad didn’t pay a dime. Now THAT’S learning to build real wealth.
Dog-walking is another good venture. Anything there is a need for [that helps busy people], makes a good venture. Again, having business cards to hand out is a good idea. If you live in an area with a lot of dogs, your child could indeed make a lot of money. Say, $5.00 per dog, $10.00 for each 1/2 hour walk times however many walks per dog per day. But the child MUST run it as a business. Keep records of which client owes what, and have signed contracts even if just made on a computer.
Photography however, is a more unusual occupation for a child. I mention it though, because of the way my youngest nephew [he’s 10] handled a pro’s camera at his cousin’s wedding. He moved through the crowd LIKE a pro for two hours. Took pictures of couples, people dancing, smiling, eating, and having a good time.
I half-heartedly joked with my sister later that he should have had a website stating he was the youngest photographer in his city; that he charged such-n-such for two hour wedding gigs, only did them on weekends, and when his mom let him. That child has unbelievable talent with a camera. [I STILL think the website would have been a cool idea]
Actually, ANYTHING your child does well can be turned into a business. For another example, say your teenaged daughter can drive, and there are a lot of older people in your neighborhood. She could talk to them or their grown kids about grocery shopping. Say, ten dollars an hour per client.
All she has to do is get the client signature on a contract, drive to the grocery store, and back. She will be able to deduct all sorts of things, including gas, mileage, repairs to the car if there are any, and so much more. Oh and by the way, as a “Personal Shopper” her little job would be one that is also recession-proof.
And now, my final tip. It is a personal strategy I have used for years.
5.) IAS Financial: I am a member of a company known as I.A.S Financial. Every month they send me a magazine on the state of the economy, what new IRS laws are being implemented, the best insurance and tax strategies; estate planning; starting a business properly, and tons more. Go to their website: www.iasfinancial.com. You will like what you see. If you decide to join, tell them Lisa Beach, member#134699 recommended you. Once you receive their monthly magazine and read it, you’ll never go back to your old hit-or-miss ways: Building wealth will become fun and easy. Your child will have money for college, and THAT is part of living the American Dream.