Friday, May 4, 2012

More on Savings Funds for Foster Kids

I am a longtime fan of the foster-adoption blog Rancho Chico, written by "Dia por Dia," so I was tickled when she left a comment on my post "College Savings and Other Savings Funds for Foster Kids?" I wanted to make sure everyone sees her comment, because it has some good ideas that might help someone out there who's struggling with the question of how/if to save for children who may not be with you forever.

I know I am a little late on this one but here's what I did. I no longer foster since I have adopted 3 of my former foster children. When I fostered "older" kids, I had a system for how I used their monthly stipend which in our state came in 2 installments. The first installment I used for their essentials (clothing, shoes, supplies, etc.) that I didn't automatically cover with my own income (and created a system for anticipating upcoming expenses--field trips, school tshirt, soccer cleats, summer swimsuits, etc.) The second installment would sometimes need to be used for some of these too depending on time of year but whatever was left over I put into a bank account for them. Sometimes it was $10 other times close to $100. When they [left?] I kept the account as long as I could keep track of them and eventually got the money to them as they got older. In one case it covered a child's senior class trip (she was in care with a relative). In another case, there was enough to cover one of my foster daughter's first year expenses at college. I think it is hard to do this for younger children because some expenses are higher (diapers, formula, etc.) so I haven't "squirreled" away as much for those children.
 Thanks for sharing your experience, Dia por Dia! Right now we have started ING kids' savings accounts for our boys but have not yet started putting much in them. I would like to start scheduling automatic transfers of at least $15 a month into each of them, and then hopefully increasing as our financial stability increases. I know that's such a tiny amount but it's important to me that we get out of debt before we start putting a lot of money into savings. I am confident within a few years we'll be able to significantly increase our savings for them, and we'll also by then have hopefully adopted. Since our older foster son has special needs that make it not crystal clear that he will be college-bound, I want to make sure however I save the money for him it can be used for college or for vocational education or to cover living expenses while he does an apprenticeship or something like that. So I'm going to look into what options exist that allow the money to be available even if he ends up not choosing college.

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