We all want the best for our kids and we all definitely want them to do better than we ever did, right? Even the most well-meaning parents can try to plan or save for their kids future and just totally drop the ball. I get it, it’s tough to save when there are sports, holidays and birthdays to pay for. Not to mention for the first 13 years kids basically need a new wardrobe every 6 months! Being a parent is financially exhausting (amongst other things). Thankfully, in the digital age, making smart money moves for our kids is easier (and more automatic) than ever. In a recent pivot we did, we took our kids from a high-yield savings account to opening their own investment accounts and it all took 5 minutes or less! I’ll walk you through the steps on how easy it is to set up an account for your kids and how you can help them save big time with only $25 a month!
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Teaching kids money
Since Tom and I weren’t great with money when we were younger, we are doing our best to teach our children the financial lessons that we have learned in the last few years in order to prevent them from making the same mistakes we have.
We are imperfectly informing them how to manage money wisely.
I think it’s so important to remember not to beat ourselves up as parents if and when we make mistakes. None of us is perfect. All we can do is our best to inform our children with the information that we have.
If you don’t have a ton of financial information (like we didn’t), hopefully this helps you feel a little more informed about what you can do to secure a better financial future for your kids.
- How We Paid Off $6,000 of Debt in 6 Months
- 10 Things I Did to Make Extra Money as a Stay at Home Mom
- 5 Account Automated Budget System
The Acorns Investment App
I chose to start my kids off on investing with the Acorns app for a few reasons:
- I already have an Acorns account setup (See my $150,000 investment plan)
- You can visually see money being made (I know my kids will love the visual aid)
- It’s super hands-off and easy to set up
The truth is, there are many ways you can start investing for your kids, but I am all about quick, easy and effective.
After doing a ton of research (and hesitating for months)I finally downloaded Acorns for myself. I spent the next few years experimenting with it and have grown to fully trust the app and what it is capable of.
When I saw that Acorns started their Early Investing option I hesitated again, did some research and then finally made the plunge.
Opening an Aggressive Early account
All it takes to get an Early account started for your child is entering their basic information. (I know, it’s always nerve wracking entering this stuff online — but this is how everything is done these days.)
Once you have entered all of their info you’ll be able to choose what type of investment portfolio you want to set up for them. Acorns does this by allowing you to choose how “aggressive you want to be.”
The basic rule of thumb is that the younger they are the more aggressive you can be. In fact, you can be pretty aggressive with your investment up until around your 40s, so being aggressive with your child’s account shouldn’t be much cause for worry.
You can see with one of our kids our initial deposit was around $300 and is aggressive in that all of their investments are in stocks.
Another thing that Acorns automatically does is diversify your investment portfolio for you. AKA they choose a variety of stocks from a variety of business sizes!
This is a great way of making sure your child’s investment portfolio is optimized to make as much money as possible.
A lot of time people get hung up with stocks and how to get started, which is why having Acorns already have a nice pool of them selected for you can take a huge load off of your mind. Click here to open an Early account.
Investing $25 per month
The first thing you can do is set up recurring investments every month. We chose to stick to $25 since we are investing for 2 kids right now that felt like a comfortable number.
What I didn’t mention yet is that you have the option to choose more or less than this! For some of us $25 just isn’t always doable (especially if you have multiple kids or are new to investing).
Acorns allows you to choose how much you want to invest and how often and it is very easy to get automatic contributions set up. Get started now.
One of the main reasons I stick with Acorns and why I wanted to use it for my kids is because it makes the idea of saving really exciting when you can visually see just how much money you are capable of saving.
Each of my kiddos started with around $300 transferred from their savings and Acorns allows them to see a visual of how much money they can save by the age of 21 with nothing more than their initial deposit plus our monthly $25 contribution.
As you can see below in just 10 years (our daughter is currently 11) we will contribute $3,000 and an additional estimated $1,000+ will be earned through investing!
Can you add more money?
The best part is, this isn’t the end of investing. There are several ways to increase the amount of money your children earn through investing with Acorns:
- Make one-time donations (during holidays, birthdays or when your kids start working)
- Invite friends or family members to contribute in leu of gifts (Acorns makes it easy to send a link to deposit)
- Increase the amount of monthly contributions
Another thing Acorns makes very easy is seeing the potential shift in earnings that you are capable of if you decide to contribute more money each month. You can see in the photos below how much the earnings drastically increase when I increase the amount of monthly contributions.
$50 per month deposits
You can see by doubling the amount we are contributing our daughter could easily increase her earnings from $4,000 to over $7,500 by the time she hits 21! And almost twice as much money is earned in potential interest.
$100 deposit per month
Things really start to take off when you look at the potential for investing $100 per month. Yes, we will have contributed $11,000 of our own money for her, but the amount she earns in interest has also sky-rocketed.
Remember, this isn’t the only way to increase the amount of money your children can earn through the Acorns investing app, one time deposits as well as family contributions are also possible!
One time deposits
You might know by now that I am a big believer in giving experience gifts over things which is why we will definitely be sending an investment link to family members who want to shower our children with gifts on their birthdays and holidays.
This is a habit we have already started with our kids. For the last few years when they have received money, they were allowed to spend a small portion of it and the rest was required to go into savings. Continuing this tradition now that they are investing will be even more fun because they love seeing that potential future money number climb.
Don’t forget that at some point your children will be earning their own money. With our oldest daughter, we forced her to save half of her work earnings since she had no bills she needed to pay for. This still allowed her fun money and gave her a heft car fund when she was ready to buy her first vehicle.
Now that we have started our younger kids off on investing, we will no doubt encourage them to invest large portions of their wages during their first few years of work before their responsibilities become bigger.
Just get started
The biggest hold up people often have when it comes to investing is that we tell ourselves we need more information. We need more information. We don’t quite understand. While these are totally reasonable fears, the truth is that they often keep people from ever making moves.
I am so thankful to be living in an age with apps like Acorns because they are quick, easy and you don’t have to put a ton of research into them.
People who are super big into money and stocks etc might tell you it’s “dumb” to choose and app when you could (this is the part where they ramble off a bunch of financial terms no one else understands). The truth is they might know what they are talking about because they are interested in it…if you don’t have a deep understanding, it is 100% OK to start with something simple and easy. Starting simple and easy is far better than never starting at all.