It takes a village, they say. When it comes to bringing up one tiny bebe, there is no end to the number of hearts and hands needed. By having friends and family make the most out of milestones and calling on your village for baby essentials, parents can help build “wealth-not-waste” with each new addition.
Just think. If family and friends made small financial contributions for everything from birthdays to graduations, kids could build a financial foundation to set them up for success later in life. But the best time to start building a baby’s nest egg is when parents are building a baby’s nursery…all by adding EarlyBird to their baby registry. “While I do love giving a small token like swaddle blankets or board books at a baby shower, I usually do so alongside a financial gift,” says Benjamin Talks Co-Founder Nikki Boulukos. And for those special kids in our lives who are already past the baby stage, it’s never too late to get them invested. “We recently set up an EarlyBird account for our eight-year-old godson,” adds Benjamin Talks Co-Founder Carissa Jordan, “and plan on making contributions for his birthdays, holidays, and any religious or academic milestones in the future.”
Often gift-givers are looking for guidance, which gives parents a great opportunity to point them towards a meaningful gift. “The godfather of my youngest daughter recently reached out to ask what he could get her for her 2nd birthday,” says Nikki. “I told him that we started an EarlyBird investment account for her, and any contribution would be a perfect gift. I also gave the option of a pink soccer ball in case he preferred to give a toy.” By forgoing an expensive new gadget or the trendiest new toy, families can make “wealth-not-waste” by directing resources from their village towards building a financial foundation for their children.
"I felt such gratitude for the generosity of my extended family over the years for giving me the resources to build my first home."
Even the smallest gifts matter when they can grow over time. “When I was a child, (long before there was an innovative app like EarlyBird to make investing for kids easy),” says Carissa, “family members gave me savings bonds to mark important occasions. After college, I cashed in those bonds to buy furniture for my first apartment. I felt such gratitude for the generosity of my extended family over the years for giving me the resources to build my first home.” With EarlyBird, even modest contributions from family and friends can grow over time and compound to build a meaningful nest egg, ultimately ensuring that kids have the financial foundation to pursue their dreams as they enter adulthood.
Parents can add EarlyBird to their baby registry and let family and friends know they are building a nest egg for their babe even before birth. By keeping their village in the loop about their intentions to build a financial foundation for their newest addition, parents can help future gift-givers navigate milestone moments. They can also add EarlyBird as a wishlist item for birthdays, graduations, religious milestones, or other important events…or even add an EarlyBird link to an invitation for seamless giving and gifting. Parents can also let family and friends know that any cash gifts will be invested into their child’s EarlyBird account on their behalf.
The amount of baby gear needed to navigate the first years of a child’s life is shocking. From bassinets to burp clothes, strollers to sippy cups, car seats to cribs and everything in between, the laundry list of baby essentials is lengthy. The kicker? Baby outgrows each piece of equipment in weeks or months, rendering it virtually useless from one stage to the next. To avoid spending thousands on expensive baby items, parents-to-be can call on their village for gently-loved baby gear ready to be used by a new mini owner. Outside of immediate family and friends, parents can also utilize their local Facebook groups to find expensive baby gear at a fraction of the original cost. “After my three children went through the Mamaroo baby swing, I was glad to pass it along to my best friend as she started her family,” said Carissa. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing a much-loved baby item getting good use in a new home.” Nikki adds, “We had our third child shortly after moving to the suburbs. I didn’t want to invest in a new jogging stroller, so I gratefully accepted one from a generous neighbor who no longer had small children. I hope to pass the stroller to another young family as soon as we outgrow it.”
Beyond baby gear, outfitting a tiny tot through the seasons is no small feat. From summer swimsuits to winter puffy coats and everything in between, it’s no wonder the average family spends $1,200 a year on clothing…per child. Those cute little GAP joggers and darling Target sandals can add up quickly. But kids grow like weeds and may only get a matter of months out of their clothing. They also play hard, and their clothes take the brunt of it. “I rely heavily on hand-me-downs from friends,” says Nikki. “Not only does it save our family hundreds of dollars each year, but it also helps protect the environment by avoiding waste.” Carissa adds, “I always take a quality over quantity approach to buying children’s clothes. For example, I usually buy durable Hanna Andersson pajamas in gender-neutral colors that can be passed down from my oldest son to my middle daughter to my youngest boy…and still look almost new.” By keeping kids' clothes organized by size and season in labeled bins, parents can easily give and receive clothes to get the most out of every outfit.
The village it takes to raise a small child is powerful. Parents can rely on their village to build a financial foundation for their children, as well as help equip them with the essential resources they need for their family. Importantly, new moms and dads can also pay it forward by continuing to support their friends, families, neighbors and those in need by passing along the baby gear and clothing necessary for navigating those first few years of childhood. When families both give and receive resources, a village will be stronger…and children will be better supported as they grow.
Benjamin Talks is on a mission to make all families financially fit through purposeful products, accessible content and impactful giving. Founded by four moms (three financial professionals and one former teacher), Benjamin Talks aims to create the next generation of money-smart, market-savvy kids and help take the taboo out of money talk.