How to Set Up a Trust Fund for a Child – Steps & Tips

Setting up a trust fund takes enormous consideration and responsibility, but it is an extra-effort step in financial security that will ensure your child or children has what they need when they need it. Trust-fund kids are often the brunt of jokes about financial wealth, but trust funds are not necessarily for the wealthiest of the wealthy. Families from modest backgrounds can learn how to set up a trust fund for a child without a net worth in the millions. The steps and tips below will help you get started.

the words trust fund written with a thick dark blue font and color on a white background

1: Decide Where to Begin

The beginning of learning how to set up a trust fund for a child starts with choosing where you want to start. You will first need to determine how much and what kind of property goes into the trust. You can start with anything. Trust funds do not need to have tens of thousands to open. They also do not have to contain large pieces of property.

2: Select a Custodian and Trustee

While you are learning how to set up a trust fund for a child, you must select a custodian and trustee. The trustee can be you, but for the most benefits, you should choose someone who is not you. This will create an ideal trust that is irrevocable. A custodian manages the trust disbursements in the way you outline it.

a pile of 100 plenty of dollar bills close-up

3: Decide What Financial Institution to Use

When you are learning how to set up a trust fund for a child, you will need to make big decisions about the kind of financial institution you will start the trust with. This requires attention to detail and market research. Comparing the benefits of each financial institution is necessary before making a decision. Once you have opened the trust, it is difficult to switch to another bank and should be avoided.

4: Decide on the Terms

The next step of learning how to set up a trust fund for a child is to decide the terms that the trust will be released on. If it is all money, the trustee can release funds at a specific date. The funds can also be tied to specific events that are outlined by you and written into place by an attorney or someone else who has extensive knowledge about financial assets.

Choosing these terms and solidifying a plan is not something that is done quickly. People often plan trust funds for their children before the child is born or in early childhood.

a cute tiny newborn baby sleeping in a basket

5: Consider What Benefit You Want

Money placed into a trust cannot be taxed. Physical assets in a trust cannot be taxed. If you have placed the trust completely in the hands of a trustee who isn’t you, then you will receive maximum benefits, but you will need to pay the trustee in most cases to protect those assets and uphold the specifics of the terms.

6: Have a Contingency Plan

If something happens in the child’s life that bars them from accessing the funds or property at the right time, then have a contingency plan so that those funds can be appropriated elsewhere or for a different purpose.

If your terms say that twenty-thousand dollars should be released upon marriage, but your child decides not to marry, then there should be alternatives for that money. Your child should not necessarily know the specific terms that are outlined in the trust to avoid them trying to circumvent the terms surrounding the trust.

7: Ensure Protection

With appropriate legal guidance, a trust can be protected from the child’s spouse or creditors. Gifts of money or property do not have the same protections. This is one of the primary reasons to get a trust in the first place, and you should make all of the effort possible for learning how to set up a trust fund for a child that affords them protection from losing property or money to someone with bad intentions.

8: Obtain the Proper Documents No

Trust documents are safest and strongest when an attorney writes them while guided by your intentions. However, you can save money by writing your own documents using a trust-document kit that teaches you how to set up a trust fund for a child. You can take your written documents to an attorney for review and modifications.

the words college fund written on a transparent jar full of dollar bills

9: Fund the Trust Wisely

You can funnel money into a trust using long-term investments, and this is generally the soundest way to create an ample trust that continues to grow through your child’s life. Do not make all contributions to the fund long-term investments. In the event of an emergency, there should be funds available for your child’s care. This isn’t possible with long-term investments that need to reach maturity.

10: Leave Out Personal Items

Do not make a trust fund more complicated and unnecessarily bulky by adding personal items like cars, homes or other types of property. While a trust fund can contain these items, it requires more documentation about managing that property over the life of the trust.

cute yellow baby slippers placed on the ground outdoors

11: Do It Yourself When You Can

If you have knowledgeable friends or family you can hire cheaply, use their skills and services to learn how to set up a trust fund for a child. When you can use a more affordable option for managing a trust, do so. If you cannot do it well with the help of people you know, stick to the experts.

Bottom Line

A trust fund can be set up at any point in your child’s life, but starting one early is going to serve your family better and give it time to develop. Trust funds can help you financially as well, but they should not be created for the sole purpose of evading taxes.

In order to be the most trustworthy and reliable, a trust fund should be irrevocable and completely for your child regardless of whether you change your mind.

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How to Save Money on Your Electric Bill – 11 Tips

At some point, you have probably wondered how to save money on your electric bill. Saving money often means cutting back on usage, but there are plenty of ways to save without living a minimalist lifestyle. Electricity savings translate into lower bills, but they are also great for the environment. The tips below for how to save money on your electric bill are a combination of usage habits, clever tricks and up-front investments that pay off in the long run.

an electric bill with a LED bulb and a regular bulb and a pen

1: Reduce Heat, Turn Air Down

In colder months where you would typically have the heat turned up, try turning it down a few degrees. Keeping temperatures at 70 degrees instead of 72 can make a big difference in the amount of energy used to keep your home warm. In the summer, keep the air conditioning at 75 degrees to reduce cooling costs.

These numbers should be adjusted based on where you live and your local climate. If there are times during the year where you can forgo heating and cooling, utilize open windows and ceiling fans instead. These options use less power and cost less.

2: Switch to LED Bulbs

LED bulbs are better than CFL bulbs. They use pennies per year, and they can drastically reduce your energy use and costs associated. If you have wondered how to save money on your electric bill by reducing lighting costs, LED bulbs are the secret. Technology advancements have made them cheaper to purchase from mass retailers, and they are no longer a specialty bulb that costs a fortune to invest in.

a large white economic LED bulb

3: Replace Old Appliances

Old appliances are a drain on electric costs. An old refrigerator can use double or triple the power of an energy-star certified model. It will cost more money to upgrade appliances, but you will be saving money long term.

4: Unplug Everything

This tip can be tedious to keep up with, but unplugging things that are not in use can save you money. When you listen to people talk about how to save money on your electric bill, they will often cite unplugging power strips and computers when not in use.

This may seem difficult, but you would be surprised by the amount of energy that is slowly drained by lamps, computers, and appliances that are not even turned on. Connecting cables to a power-saving strip makes it easier to implement this habit. You simply unplug the power strip instead of each individual cord.

unplugged appliances and some dollar bills and coins on a table

5: Take Shorter Showers

Cutting back on your showering and morning routine can save you a bundle. Look no further than your grooming habits to learn how to save money on your electric bill. Showers have to be heated, and water heaters are often powered by electricity.

If yours is powered by gas, you will still be saving money from one of those two bills. Forgoing usage of grooming appliances like blow dryers, flat irons, and similar gadgets also conserves and saves you money. You will even shave time off of getting ready.

6: Go to Bed Earlier

It sounds silly, but turning lights off even two hours earlier will show you that learning how to save money on your electric bill can be as easy as not using it. If you are up late frequently, you are likely using things that require electricity. Turning them off and getting into bed will help you get more sleep and save money.

a tall electric power high voltage pillar in a field

7: Switch Power Companies

People wrongfully assume that you have to stick with the power company that the majority uses. Cities typically have multiple power companies, and those companies may be cheaper. If switching is an option for you, research other companies in the area to determine how to save money on your electric bill.

8: Switch to Partial Green Energy

Speaking of power companies, many now offer wind power, solar, geothermal and other alternatives to electricity. These choices can temporarily raise your electric costs, but they will tell you how to save money on your electric bill over the course of a year or two without installing your own solar panels or wind turbines.

a green light bulb surrounded by green thick arrows symbolizing green energy

9: Install Solar Panels

If you are interested in installing your own solar panels, then you will have a higher up-front cost but lower bills over the lifetime of the panels. Green-energy installations often come with tax credits or similar incentives. Power companies sometimes pay people for the energy they use with solar panels if they produce more than they need.

some solar panels installed on a house roof

10: Keep Vents Open and Clean

Open and clean vents lead to more efficient heating and cooling. It’s a simple and effortless tip that will save you a lot of money. Making sure the filters for your heating and cooling system are replaced monthly also goes a long way in saving you money. Do not listen to the myth that says to close vents off. This just makes your system work harder and use more energy.

11: Watch Your Laundry

If you aren’t already washing most loads in cold water, switch to cold water immediately. This is a quick energy saving tip, but it doesn’t stop there. Use line drying whenever possible to reducing drying costs. Use the right balance of laundry in a load to prevent the machine from working too hard or wasting a wash load on just a few items. These little tweaks to your usage go a long way.

Putting It All Together

Whether you have a 100 percent electricity-powered home, or a combination of electric and gas, you will be saving money and energy with the tips above. Drastic changes aren’t required, but if you have outdated appliances that are not efficient, you will need to spend some money upfront to reduce your overall electric bill costs.

Remember that these tips will need to be adjusted depending on where you live. Urban or rural living can make a difference in costs as well as the options available to you, but figuring out what your home requires is easy and worth the cost savings.

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11 Great Gifts for Kids Under $10

In a world full of expensive gadgets and increasingly more costly toys, buying affordable gifts for kids seems impossible. Kids are getting tablets and smartphones at younger ages, and they are losing interest in traditional toys. Despite the increase in expensive toys for kids, there are more ways than ever to give fun and exciting gifts that your kids will remember and be entertained by. These gifts for kids under $10 are sure to be enjoyed and appreciated without costing a small fortune.

a large pile of Lego pieces

#1. App Store Gifts

Since purchasing apps that cost to download is a privilege, giving an app as a gift is a perfect and affordable idea. You can gift an app directly to them, and they can download it upon receipt of an email or notification. If you know of a cool app they have been dying to download, then even better.

The best part of giving gifts for kids under $10 through an app download is that you don’t have to go to the store to pick it out.

#2. Kahootz Toys Spirograph Design Tin

The Spirograph design toy for kids

The Kahootz Spirograph design tin is a classic toy that has come back with a surge of popularity. This toy inspires creativity and relaxation. It is easy to take anywhere, and it doesn’t leave a mess. It is considered an Amazon Choice product as well. This means it has high reviews and positive feedback from users.

#3. Tsum Tsum Bubble Fever Card Game

a box of Tsum Tsum bubble fever toy

This cute Tsum Tsum card game is one of the funniest gifts for kids under $10 that you can find. It is also an Amazon Choice product. This card game is inspired by the popular Disney app called Tsum Tsum. It features cute Disney characters that you collect and pop with bubble cards.

The mechanics are simple, and it supports multiple players. It encourages strategic thinking and quick reflexes in younger kids, and it’s pure fun for older kids.

#4. Fidget Spinner

a colorful fidget spinner toy

It’s true that fidget spinners are being banned in schools across the country, but they are still effective for focus and fun to play with. This is one of those gifts for kids under $10 that will be sure to thrill. Fidget spinners are wildly popular, and they come in dozens of styles, colors, and features. They are a quiet toy that can keep a child occupied and serve a therapeutic purpose as well.

*Choking Hazard: This toy presents a risk of choking. Fidget Spinners are recommended for kids 12 years or older

#5. Kinetic Sand

a shimmering kinetic sand box for kids

If you are looking for more stimulating gifts for kids under $10, kinetic sand is a great option. This magical sand is made of silicone. Therefore, each grain of sand slides off of the other in a way that feels unique, smooth and stimulating. Kinetic sand comes in tons of colors and can be molded, cut and played with in a number of ways.

It doesn’t dry out unless it is left in an open container, but it is easy to fix when it does. It is a great gift to help explore creativity and stimulation.

#6. A Book

You can’t go wrong by gifting a book. The possibilities are endless with this, and gifts for kids under $10 cannot get any easier than a classic. If your child prefers a digital format, that is possible too.

#7. A Subscription Box

A one-month shipment of a subscription box is a perfect gift idea that can be tailored to the child’s interests. Loot Crate makes a great choice for older kids, but other options might include a snack box or something similar. Trial offers for these box subscriptions are often 10 dollars and under.

#8. 10 Dollars in Credits to an Arcade

Dave and Buster’s is a popular family spot where gifts for kids under $10 is quite doable. Arcades that are similar are also an option to consider if the kid you are gifting to enjoys video games. Ten dollars in credits can go a long way for entertainment, and they get the satisfaction of collecting tickets earned with their credits.

Credits are typically card loaded, and coin-drop tokens are increasingly rare. Some arcades even use an app instead of a card load.

#9. Downloadable Content

This is a gift idea for kids who are a little older. Video games often have extra content that is downloadable for an additional cost. Since kids do not have credit cards of their own, they rely on people to buy this content for them.

Gift ideas for kids under $10 that involve downloadable content are not only easy, but they are super exciting for the kid receiving the content to download. Downloadable parts of a game can give hours of entertainment as well. It is money well spent.

#10. Gemstone Dig Kit by National Geographic

a Gemstone dig toy kit by National Geographic

The scientifically minded kid will love this gemstone dig kit is inspiring and educational. Kids will find tigers eye, quartz, and amethyst in a brick that is designed to teach children about gemstones. National Geographic includes a beautiful guidebook that gives clear instructions and information about each type of gemstone.

This one of the best educational gifts for kids under 10 dollars that you can buy, and it will inspire a lifetime of curiosity for that child. National Geographic also has a guarantee on all products, and you can get your money back if something is wrong with the product.

#11. Bath Bombs

blue and pink bath bombs

Bath bombs are a special gift for any kid who enjoys fun bath time. Some brands provide bath bombs that have cool effects, turning water different colors and contain small surprises or glitter. Most of them are safe, non-staining and non-irritating products that smell amazing. They are one of the most well-loved gifts, and you can typically get two for under 10.

*Make sure to find bath bombs suitable for kids that don’t contain chemicals that attack the skin.

Bottom Line

Gifts for kids under $10 are not hard to come by, but they do require some creativity to ensure you are choosing something that will be enjoyed. The above gifts are flexible and engaging for a variety of ages and all genders.

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DIY Nursery Decor – Top 10 Low-Budget Ideas & Tips

Putting together a nursery is an exciting project. As a new parent, you will likely be spending a lot of time in your child’s nursery at all hours of the day and night. It is only natural to want the nursery to be a comfortable and inviting space. However, all the products you are told you need for baby can be expensive. Be careful that the basic necessities don’t use up your nursery budget before you even get to more fun decor elements.

Thebump.com estimates that nursery set-up and decor will set you back around $2,000! And if you’re shopping for high-end products it can cost many thousands more. This does not have to be the case. By shopping around and being prepared for some DIY nursery decor projects, you can have the nursery of your dreams on any budget.

a small white and yellow toy crib with a toy baby in it

How to DIY Nursery Decor on a Budget

Stay focused on what’s really important. Your baby will not care how much you spend on their furniture. Guests will not be able to tell the difference between a new $800 crib and one that you inherited from your sister-in-law. As long as everything is safe and clean, you’ve done your job. That’s not to say you can’t have a beautiful nursery or splurge a bit on what’s important to you.

You might skip the changing table so you can get the comfy rocking chair you know you’ll end up sleeping in almost every night. Determine what your priorities are for the nursery space and work from there. The decor is where you should be ready to roll up your sleeves and DIY to really save. For example, wall art can be expensive, but is one of the easiest things to DIY, even if you’re not crafty.

It’s also cheap and easy to paint furniture you already have to match the color scheme of your new nursery. Be willing to try new things. Following some of these suggestions should get you started.

Top 10 Budget Friendly DIY Nursery Decor Tips

1. Forget the Crib Bedding Set

a complete crib bedding set

A full set of bedskirt, bumpers, sheets, blankets, quilts and decorative pillows can cost around $300. And the baby can’t even use any of it. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) guidelines say that it’s unsafe for an infant to sleep with all that loose bedding. You would have to pull out all the quilts, pillows, and bumpers as soon as the baby comes home with you. Your crib will look great with a cleaner simpler look.

 2. Paint the Crib Yourself

a freshly painted baby crib

If you’re missing the adorable bedding and want to jazz up the crib, paint it a bold color to match your chosen color scheme. Painting furniture is a straightforward DIY nursery decor project.

 3. Frame Pages from Your Favorite Children’s Book

two pink baby paintings with an elephant and a giraffe

There are plenty of children’s books with wonderful artwork. Work your favorites into your nursery theme and get frames at a garage sale or a second-hand shop.

 4. Combine the Changing Table and Dresser

a nursery furniture mix between a changing table and a baby dresser

No need to spend the money on both. You may even already have a low dresser that can do the job. Simply buy a changing pad and put it on top of the dresser. This is a great DIY nursery decor space and money saver, and the dresser will have a lot more storage in it than a changing table. Make sure to put a no slip mat under the changing pad for safety.

 5. Make Your Own Curtains

beautiful curtains with floral pattern

Curtains really pull together the decor of a room and are practical for making the nursery dark for baby. If you know someone with a sewing machine, curtains are an easy project for a DIY nursery decor beginner. Shop around for affordable fabric and find a simple pattern online.

 6. Make Contact Paper Wall Decals

a cute tree contact paper wall decal

Wall decals are popular for DIY nursery decor. It’s as easy as buying a roll of contact paper and cutting out the shapes you want. If you mess up, the contact paper peels off easily without damaging your walls. Choose a color that fits your theme. There are even fun metallic colors available online.

 7. Paint an Accent Wall

nursery decor with an accent wall

Choosing one wall to paint is less work and lets you save money too. You won’t have to purchase as much paint and will probably have some left over to add color accents in other parts of the room. Painting the crib was already mentioned, but you don’t need to stop there. Leftover paint can be used on picture frames or the closet door to tie the room together further.

 8. DIY Mobile

a DIY nursery mobile project

Using ribbons, paper cutouts, or felt shapes is a fun, easy way to design a unique mobile to entertain your child. Hang it in a spot the baby will spend a lot of time looking up at it. Above the crib or the changing table are both good options.

 9. Use Clothes as Decorations

cute baby clothes on a table

You probably will get some adorable fancy outfits at your baby shower. Or maybe you have a baby christening gown that your grandmother wore. Some carefully chosen clothes hung on the back of the closet door can be an adorable and easy addition to your DIY nursery decor.

 10. Make Your Own Book Display

a DIY kids book display with books in it

Rather than getting a cumbersome and expensive bookshelf, pick up some spice racks. Paint them, hang them on the wall, and arrange your board books facing out.

Putting It All Together

So, what are you waiting for? An adorable nursery doesn’t have to break the bank. There are enough other costs associated with having a baby to feel stressed about expensive decor. Anyone can incorporate some or all of these tips and create a beautiful, useful, and relaxing space they can enjoy with their baby. Have you recently decorated a nursery on a budget? Let us know your favorite budget friendly DIY nursery decor tips!

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