New ways to save money, start a family

Published On: Jan 15 2014 03:12:36 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 21 2014 06:20:00 AM EST

Babies are cute and cuddly but they're also costly.  Alexis Kort will agree with that.

"You don't necessarily think about it before you have a kid, and then all of a sudden you're like wait a second, how do we make this work financially?" she said.

To help make it work financially, Kort, her husband, and their baby moved in with her parents when they relocated to her hometown.

"We were thinking that would maybe be three months, maybe 6 months and it turned out to be a year," said Kort.

It's a living arrangement that is growing in popularity.

"Young couples, when they have a child or when they're planning to have a child, are moving back in with their parents," said BabyCenter Financial Expert Carmen Wong-Ulrich. "Ten percent of young women are staying living at home with their parents to save money to have children. This is a new trend"

A trend that for some extends beyond getting help with housing. A survey found that nearly 30% of new parents get financial assistance from their parents.   Wong-Ulrich points out parents who support their kids with kids have less time to save for retirement.

"If you're supporting grown children it is a strain, and it can be a strain on your own financial future," she said.

Wong-Ulrich says multi-generational living can benefit everyone involved both emotionally and financially, but before bunking up, she has some advice.

"Make sure to sit down and have that talk, as awkward as it may be, to talk about, 'Okay, how are we going to run things?'" she suggested.

It's a talk Kort had with her parents.

"We would pay for groceries and they weren't going to charge us rent," she said.

For families giving financial help, Ted Beck, President of the National Endowment for Financial Education has this own advice.

He said, "Have an adult agreement on what your expectations are.  So if it's a loan, when you're going to get paid back.  What interest rates should be applied to the loan?" 

And experts agree it's important to keep your savings on track.  

"Make sure that your own financial retirement plan is healthy and wont be damaged too badly," said Beck.

"The best gift you can give as a new grandparent is to make sure that you are financially sound," added Wong-Ulrich.

As for Kort, she was happy to spend so much quality time with her parents, and she and her husband saved enough for their new home.

"I hadn't lived at home in 18 years so it was nice to rediscover a relationship with my parents as a parent. I don't think our vision was ever, oh lets go live with our parents again when we're older, but you know, it worked out," said Kort.

For couples that get financial help from their parents, Beck suggests putting the agreement in writing to prevent any tension down the road.  And, he recommends starting small when it comes to saving.  Set up an emergency fund for unplanned expenses and then focus on a longer-term savings plan.

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