Heart Link: The objective of the Heart Link Program is to strengthen military families and enhance mission readiness. Appreciating that spouses play an important role in re-enlistment decisions, therefore impacting retention, a major program goal is to help spouses, especially those with the Air Force five years of less, acclimate to the Air Force/military environment. This program includes orientation activities consisting of presentations form base agencies, interactive games and exercises that should, by the end of the day, leave spouses feeling they are an important and respected part of the Air Force team. A program highlight is a visit from the Wing Commander who presents a coin to each spouse for completing the programThe Youth Employment Skills (YES) Program is an on-base volunteer program for high school students and is offered at selected Air Force bases. This program, underwritten by the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS), is a joint effort between AFAS and Air Force Family Member Programs Flight to offer high school students an opportunity to learn valuable work skills, "bank" dollar credits toward their post-secondary education/training, and have a positive impact on their base community.YES allows high school students to "bank" $4 in grant funding for every hour volunteered in an on base function. Students may accumulate as much as 250 hours over all 4 years of high school combined, for a potential maximum of $1,000 toward their future vocational-technical or academic endeavors. In addition, the base will be credited with $2 for every volunteer hour, to be used in support of base youth program enhancements (up to $10,000 per year).Interested students should contact the base Youth Director in the Family Members Programs Flight for eligibility requirements and enrollment procedures.
The centerpiece of the Society's education initiatives is the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program which provides $2000 grants to selected sons and daughters of active duty, Title 10 AGR/Reserve, Title 32 AGR performing full-time active duty, retired, retired reserve and deceased Air Force members; spouses (stateside) of active duty members and Title 10 AGR/Reservists; and surviving spouses of deceased personnel for their undergraduate studies. The value and success of this program, is demonstrated in the 81,787 grants disbursed since the first awards were made for the 1988-1989 academic year. This grant program remains competitive in its need-based selection criteria, uniquely tailored to recognize the proper weighing of family income and education cost factors, and is administered by ACT Recognition Program Services. ACT, located in Iowa City IA, is an independent, not-for-profit organization with over 40 years experience in providing support services to scholarship sponsors. Awards for the 2010-2011 academic year will be announced in June 2010. Use of funds is limited to tuition, books, fees, or other curriculum-required materials.
Investing for life: Invest $2000 per year beginning at birth and continue till age 65. Assumes a 10% interest rate
Maternity leave: the average maternity leave program only pays a portion of your gross income for a set number of weeks (usually four or eight) after birth. Child Care: if both parents work outside of the home, this could be the biggest financial shock facing new parents-Depending on where you live, child care expenses can range from $5K per year for family day care to more than $20,000 per year for a live-out nanny. Diapers & Wipes: The average baby goes through ten diapers a day. For disposable diapers that is about $2000 by the time your little one is potty trained. Add that to the cost of cleaning their little bottom with a wet wipe or two at each diaper change and you’ll be adding about $100 to your monthly grocery bill. Formula and/or breast feeding expenses: The cost of formula shocks just about every new parent. The general rule of thumb is that a baby needs about 2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight per day. Breast-feeding can certainly minimize that expense, but there are some hidden costs associated with breastfed babies. For example, you may need to purchase or rent a breast pump, nursing bras, breast pads, nursing tops, lanolin ointment and a breast feeding pillow. Baby Gear: Many new parents don’t realize just how much “baby gear” is required to care for and entertain an infant. Most of the items listed with the exception of a car seat can be purchased second-hand.Clothing & Shoes: Babies outgrow clothing at an AMAZING rate, so they need a new wardrobe every few months, They also never get to wear some of the gifts you get because buy the time they get to be the right size, it’s the wrong season for the clothes! Considering shopping at the Airman’s Attic or Thrift Shops to save money. You can also save money by buying at the end of season sales. Baby Food: Once babies reach 4 to 6 months of age, they start eating baby food in addition to drinking milk or formula. Although it can be time consuming, pureeing your own food rather than buying baby food in jars can be a money-saver.
Everyone knows that caring for children is expensive, but a new government study shows that the average cost to raise a child from birth through age 17 is a whopping $221,000 (NBC NEWS)In the first year alone, the costs of a baby can reach between 9K-11K, and most new and expectant parents don’t realize the size of the financial burden they are taking on.
Blunder # 1: Buying life insurance on a baby. It's really cheap, but unless your baby's a movie star, he doesn't need it. The main purpose of insurance is to replace lost income, and most babies don't have jobs.Blunder # 2: RETIREMENT ON HOLD: With all your attention focused on your kids, it's easy to forget about yourself. Many new parents stop saving for retirement in order to start a college fund, but that's a serious mistake. "There are loans and grants for college, but not for retirement," says Katrina Miller, a financial planner in Golden, Colorado.With retirement, how long you save is almost as important as how much -- because the longer you invest, the more you earn. So even a temporary break from savings can jeopardize your financial future. However tight money gets, continue to save something for retirement. (Ideally, young parents should be putting away 10 percent of their household income.) If your employer matches part of your 401(k) contributions, be sure to save at least up to the match; otherwise, you're passing up free money.BLUNDER #3: Passing up eligible tax breaksWhom would you rather give your money to: yourself or Uncle Sam? If that's a no-brainer, make sure you take advantage of every tax benefit available to you. First, adjust your W-4 at work. Adding an exemption for each new child can put an extra $100 to $250 a month in your pocket, since less tax is taken out. True, if you don't increase exemptions, you'll get that money back as a refund in April. But having the extra cash now could help you stay out of debt while you juggle new expenses like life insurance and daycare.Next, you need to understand two important federal tax credits: the Child Tax Credit and the Dependent Care Tax Credit. (Remember, tax credits are much more valuable than tax deductions: A $500 tax credit actually reduces your tax bill by $500, while a tax deduction for the same amount just lowers your taxable income).When you claim a child as a dependent -- which you should do in almost all cases -- you qualify for the Child Tax Credit, worth up to $1,000. (Even if your baby is born December 31st, you're eligible for the whole amount.) Additionally, if you use childcare, you may also qualify for the Dependent Care Tax Credit, which can knock $600 to $2,100 off your tax bill. An important caveat: If your employer offers a Flexible Spending for Dependent Care reimbursement account, which lets you set aside up to $5,000 a year before taxes for childcare, you'll need to make a choice. You can't use a Flexible Spending account and still qualify for the full Child Care Tax Credit. (However, you may still qualify for a lesser tax credit; talk to a tax planner to be sure.)So, which is the better deal? If your family earns $40,000 or less, it's better to skip the flexible spending account and take the whole tax credit. Higher-income families, however, will likely do better with the flexible spending account.BLUNDER #4: Failing to make a willNo one wants to think about dying, especially when you've got a baby who depends on you so completely. But if you don't write a will and create a trust, your children may end up in financial, as well as emotional, distress if you die prematurely.The number-one reason you need a will: So you, not some judge, get to name a guardian for your children. "I've seen many horrible battles between grandparents, friends, and other family members over custody of a child," says Robin Giles, a financial planner in Laguna Niguel, California. "It would be much better to make your wishes known while you're alive."It's also critical that you establish a trust that specifies how and when your children will get their inheritance, and allows you to appoint a trustee to watch over the money. Without a trust, your children will have access to your entire estate at age 18. "That's too much money, too fast, too soon," says financial planner Chris Cooper, of Toledo, Ohio.It's best to consult with an attorney to create a customized will and trust. Too time-strapped? That's no excuse: Make a DIY version with Quicken WillMaker Plus.BLUNDER #5: Getting sloppy about spendingWhen you're up to your eyeballs in diapers, Desitin, and the demands of a newborn, who has the energy to balance the checkbook? But tough as it is, you need to find time to stay on top of your money. "Just as you need to baby proof when you have kids, you need to keep your financial house in order too," says Cooper.First and foremost, that means making sure that you spend less than you earn -- especially if you've scaled back on your work -- and reining in the impulse to lavish the baby with extravagant gifts. "The expensive crib and the bedding and the perfect bedroom is all about you," Miller says. "The baby doesn't care."Experts agree that it's very hard to catch up again once you've gone into debt. "So many new moms cut back on work, and then refinance the house or borrow against their 401(k), thinking it's temporary and that they'll make it up later," says Miller. "But then they discover, there is no later."It's also important for stay-at-home moms to pay close attention to the family finances. "A lot of women don't feel entitled to make money decisions when they're not earning income," says Mary Claire Allvine, a financial planner in Atlanta. "But it's important that both partners stay closely involved to make sure you're both making the kinds of financial choices that will help you achieve your long-term hopes and goals."
Baby clothes: It's hard not to fall in love with some of the adorable baby clothes on sale nowadays. But you probably have a neighbor or relative whose baby outgrew those same clothes last month and doesn't know what to do with them. Don't be afraid to accept hand-me-downs. Your baby will never know the difference.Credit cards: It's so easy to buy things with your credit card and worry about paying for them later. But that can only lead to late fees, interest rate hikes, and ruined credit. If you are unable to pay your bill in full on time every month, consider cutting up those credit cards and forcing yourself to pay in cash.. Grocery shopping: Start snipping those coupons! Manufacturers and grocery stores are constantly offering discounts on necessary products
Prices range from $17.50 per week for 50 diapers to $41.00 per week for 210 diapers. They also sell cloth diaper supplies and accessories.
In the year 2000, tuition for a bachelor's degree program, including housing, at a public university averaged between $20,000 and $50,000. A bachelor's program at a prestigious private university may cost more than $150,000. By the time your child is ready for college, it will be much more than that. Start a college fund as soon as you can for your child. A small amount invested 18 years in advance will grow to much more than a larger amount saved a year before it's time for college. Coverdell education savings accountsYou can contribute up to $2,000 a year to a Coverdell education savings account for your child, as long as your income is under $190,000. Each child can receive a contribution of only $2,000 a year. So if Grandma puts in $2,000 this year, you won't be able to contribute until next year. These accounts can be opened with any financial institution and invested in anything from savings accounts to mutual funds. 529 plansA 529 plan is an investment for a child's education that is put aside in a mutual fund and grows in the account free of federal income tax. The money is withdrawn from the plan when the beneficiary is ready for college and used to pay tuition and other school related costs. The 529 account does not affect the beneficiary's eligibility for financial aid. It remains an asset of the account holder and not the beneficiary. These accounts do have strict limitations on what they can be used for, including tuition, fees, books and equipment required for class. The money may be used for room and board only if the beneficiary attends school at least half the time and the amount is dictated by what the educational institution uses to compute the cost of attendance. An investor can start a 529 account for any child, related or unrelated. The investor can change the beneficiary at any time. So if you start a 529 for one of your children who later decides not to attend college, you can designate that money to be used by any other college-bound child. The amount you can contribute to a 529 funds for a child differs from state to state, but they can be as much as $265,000. Other financial planningThe variety of investment tools that you can use to save money for your child's future is too large to cover here. But it is important to understand the basic philosophy of saving for your child's long-term future. Put simply - a little goes a long way. Save anything you can now and your child will benefit greatly from it in the future. Wills
Bundles for babies
WELCOME TO BUNDLES FOR BABIESFINANCIAL PREPARATIONS FOR YOUR NEW FAMILY
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS• Financial readiness is a critical element to the successful completion of our day-to-day mission• Financial preparations for your new family ensures financial fitness and readinessYou will either learn to manage your money, or the lack of itwill always manage you. -Dave Ramsey
• EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE LOANS• COMMUNITY PROGRAMS• EDUCATIONAL GRANTS• Air Force Aid assistance is available 24/7 by calling the Command Post at 256-5891 after duty hours or by appointment through the Airman & Family Readiness Center 256-8668.
Emergency Travel (Death/Illness) Vehicle Repair Basic Living Expenses (Food, Rent, Utilities) EMERGENCY ASSISTANCEFuneral Expenses Respite Care
FALCON LOAN Emergency PROGRAM Situation Designed to deter people Interest freefrom engaging loan up to in payday $750 loans
COMMUNITY PROGRAMS• Child Care for Volunteers• Child Care for PCS• Give Parents a Break• Car Care Because We Care• Youth Employment Skills
EDUCATIONAL GRANTS• Henry H. Arnold Grant• Application timeframe is the first part of the year (Jan-Mar)
EMERGENCY SAVINGS PLAN • Only 32% of Americans would be able to cover a $5000 emergency with cash without going into debt for it. –Gallup/Bankrate.com survey • Financial experts suggest 3-6 months of living expenses in an emergency savings account. • BABY STEPS! Strive for $1000 firstAccording to Money Magazine, 78% of you will have a major negative financialevent in any 10 year period. Something is going to happen and it is important toplan for it.
TIME IS KEY TO INVESTING $4,265,114$4,000,000$3,500,000$3,000,000$2,500,000$2,000,000 $1,266,170$1,500,000 $1,174,600 $893,704 $930,641$1,000,000 $80,000 $14,000 $10,000 $130,000 $500,000 $6,750 $0 $2000 / Yr for 40 $2000 / Yr for 7 $2000 / Yr for 5 Invested a total of Investing for life Years from age 26 years between years from age 14 $6750 between to 65 age 19 and 25 to 18 ages of 8 and 13 Total Invested Net Earnings
SOCIETAL FINANCIAL STATISTICS• A Parenting Magazine poll indicates that 49% could not cover even one month’s expenses if they were to miss a paycheck.• 70% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck.• US Census Table shows that 15% of all American families have a negative net worth.• Average American savings rate is 2%
TOP FINANCIAL SHOCKS THAT PARENTS FACE So where does the money go?• Maternity Leave • Baby Gear: crib, changing• Child Care: $5,ooo to table, rocker, car $20,000 seat, stroller, swing, monitor• Diapers & Wipes: , bouncer, etc. $100/month for wipes and • Clothing & Shoes: THEY $2000 for diapers until GROW FAST! trained • Baby Food: Consider• Formula and/or breast homemade items feeding expenses
AVERAGE COST STATISTICS• Total estimated cost from birth to age 17 equals $221,000 (excluding college education)• First year cost average equals $9,000-$11,000• Child-related expenses account for 14-29% of household expenditures
MONEY MISTAKES• BLUNDER #1: Life insurance on the baby• BLUNDER #2: Putting retirement savings on hold• BLUNDER #3: Passing up eligible tax breaks• BLUNDER #4: Failing to make a will• BLUNDER #5: Getting sloppy about spending
UNDER THE RADAR BUDGETING CONSIDERATIONS• BABY CLOTHES: consider the Airman’s Attic or the Thrift Shop• CREDIT CARDS: How much more are you willing to pay for something than what it is worth.• GROCERY SHOPPING: Utilize manufacturer’s couponsOverall, American households spend over $412 billion in credit cardcharges each year.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER• Life Insurance Policy – SGLI and Family SGLI• Enroll baby in DEERS – See Tricare Fact Sheet• Portrait Packages
WAYS TO SAVE MONEY• NEVER spend more money than you make• Utilize available resources• Avoid impulse purchases• Clip and use coupons• Print coupons online (red plum, smart source)• Stick to your budget• Identify financial goals and a plan to reach them. (use worksheet)
MORE MONEY SAVING TIPS• Sign up for coupons and freebies through manufacturer websites:• www.gerber.com/Baby-Coupons• www.similac.com/StrongMoms• www.enfamil.com• www.johnsonsbaby.com• www.pampers.com
CLOTH DIAPER DELIVERY• Baby Care Diaper Service of St. Louis Website: babycarediaper.com E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 314-732-7009Weekly delivery of clean, cloth diapers right to your front door.
COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS•Coverdell Education Savings Accounts: Contribution amount is$2000/year•529 Prepaid Tuition: Contributions today are guaranteed tocover tuition costs in the future.•529 Savings Plan: A state sponsored investment account for thebenefit of anyone-your child, your cousin, your neighbor, yourself•Don’t compromise your retirement for the sake of your child’seducation.