Coins and College

Coins and College

Don’t let the title fool you. The cost of college is no where near coins, its all about the dollars, ALOT of dollars. And while we all hope to win big with Island Luck, get that financial aid or even remortage the home the reality is thousands of kids every year do not have the opportunity to attend college for the mere fact that they cannot afford it.

I had planned on attending college, I had toured the campus in Tampa, applied for my visa, filled all the applications and then it happened. That check that was suppose to come, well it didnt and I would be delayed in attending college. I didnt speak for weeks, I was disappointed and mostly heartbroken.

For many college is an after thought. Something that is not discussed or even thought about until the child is near completion of high school and then all of questions come pouring in. I eventually attended college but most of what had happened before couldve been avoided if there was a college savings plan in place. I teamed up with one of our very own financial and budgeting experts Rashad Moss who breaks down the why’s,what,how and when’s of college savings.

Why save for college?

As parents we all aspire to provide the best for our kid/s. Tertiary education is no different. If you aspire to have your kids attend college , a college savings plan would be a great way to lay your foundation. It would be silly to spend 18 years of talking about sending your kid to college and then realizing you don’t have the means to.  If you gonna buy a brand new Ford Escape and pay on it for 10 plus years while it depriciates every day then you might as well put $10 a week aside for college.

When is the best time to start saving?

Rashad encourages parents to start as soon as possible. If you want to start from conception, well even better! The more years you put into saving the more money you will receive. It simple mathematics really.

How do you estimate future college costs?

Inflation is inevitable. I mean last week my silk milk cost $6.51 and this week it was $7.51. I can only imagine the cost of college 5, 10 or even 15 years from now. Rashad doesnt want anyone to be discouraged from saving but it helps to project and anticipate that you may need to add an extra $5 once your kid begins high school just for a buffer.

What if I can’t afford it?

I can’t afford silk milk but I budget and make it work. Rashad explains that starting small does wonders for parents on a budget, especially single parents. Maybe your end goal may not be $50k based on your monthly savings however your child can end up with 20k and trust me for a kid with big dreams of going to college that 20k maybe all the start they need to get their foot in the door.

What if my child doesnt go to college?

Rashad and I laughed at this one. I told him I want my money back! But Rashad offered some excellent point of views. Not every one is college bound. There are some amazing small and large business that have been started by persons who either didnt go to college or dropped out (I mean look at Bill Gates). The money that you save could be a wonderful start to a much need beginning. It can fuel a young entreprenuers dreams, fund a vocational calling or be just the right amount you need to add that extra cabana you wanted on Exuma.

Regardless it would appear that saving for college is one of the best decisions you can make as a parent.

If you havent started as yet have a talk with your nearest College Saving expert and spark a conversation. If you don’t have an expert here you can use mine! Rashad is always available and can be reached here.

Till next time

XOXO

Step Right Up – The Holiday Carnival

Step Right Up – The Holiday Carnival

You never really  see it coming, one day you’re driving and notice a little sign around the round about “Holiday Carnival” or you may pass the set up area and see trailers off loading and then you know. It’s here!

(Video cred Michael Culmer 242 in the know)

Round and Round we go! McCafferty Enterprises sets up on Fort Charlotte and once again gives us locals another fun  time at the  Carnival. Not sure if they were hoping to gain the attention of tourists with the location change but with twice as much space and twice as much dust you can be sure that the new location adds to the nostalgia of the Holidays.

You won’t find an issue with parking although some areas are more well lit than others, there is ample space on either the eastern or western side of the Carnivals entrance. Being that I drive a particular vehicle that starts with the letter H I was particularly concerned but nonetheless it’s probably no safer than my own yard.

Once in expect to pay $7 for adults and $5 for kids age 3 years and younger/in a stroller are free of charge, but don’t quote me as this price seems to fluctuate (was told it was $5 for adults and $3 for kids but who knows)

 

Now you’re in!Fun begins and money starts to spend! Tickets! Tickets! Tickets! Depending on the age group most rides for younger kids start at 3 tickets and go up to 6 tickets  for the more mature crowd. Tickets are $1.25 each. This year they reintroduced the packaged tickets which for me made much more sense money wise.

With two kids in tow I purchased the family sheet and was on my way! I would imagine with a larger family you would need the larger package. Shoots even I was borderline low on tickets and found my self back on the line trying to balance out the last few rides so budget accordingly.

One thing I liked this year was that the tickets can rollover to another day (again don’t quote me). Normally you would have to use all of your tickets during the same visit or forfeit it all, ticket agent assured me this was not the case but I still tried to use just about all that I purchased. Oh but bear in mind there is no reentry.

 

 

 

This year there was over 15 rides not including the games, your favorite 25cent Glass throw, Balloon darts, I mean they all came back.

They brought back all the favorites and then some like the YoYo, Gravitron, Merry Go Round and Mr.Dragon!

 

Yes the Over and Under table is still there and yes so is the Kalik tent! Word of advice the Kalik tent has water for $1 the other guys has it for $3.

 

Traditionally I never buy food at the carnival with the exception of a few must haves like the pizza and of course cotton candy. I was surprised to find most vendors were actually “affordable”.  Had I not already infused in my child’s brain the promised of a my little pony toy from Mickey D’s I would have no issue treating myself to some chicken and fries!

 

 

Please keep in mind especially with little kids that bathroom situation is port a potties.  I don’t know about you but I’m not a huge fan of these things and unless I missed it there is no where to wash your hands. So if you don’t already take LOTS of Hand Sanitizer hand towels tissue…yea I think you get the idea or better yet just leave at this stage.

As usual over all the experience was a memory maker and with Arawak Cay right next door it made for the perfect time to stop and enjoy some fritters with the family and over look the harbor. Yes it is expensive but like MasterCard commercial the smiles I get is priceless.

Until next time…

The Gift of Giving

The Gift of Giving

Guess what!!! It’s Christmas!!

Yes, I’m sure you already knew this  and for those who celebrate like myself we all know what this means!

No not Eggnog! (well yea but that’s not what this post is about)

Presents!!!

Every year around  Christmas I am plagued with the same thoughts. How much gifts is too much for my kids. In a world where there are children who go without basic necessities I find it hard to go crazy and splurge on items that will more than likely be discarded for a cardboard box the very next day.

So how do you decipher what to buy your kids and how much is enough? I mean we all love to spoil our kids so it’s very easy to get carried away.  If you haven’t started buying gifts as yet (which by the way you should have) here’s a little trick I use. It’s called the One, Two, Three.

I choose three gifts, each with its own festive merriment that will surely put a smile on my kids faces.

Gift number ONE is for Leisure, something fun and probably what they begged for all year! Like that Snacking Susan Baby Alive Doll something called Shopkins (what is this?). It’s something fun and strictly for play time. It’s been asked for just about all year, go on spoil them with this one!

Gift number TWO is Educational. It can be a book, tablet, laptop anything that not only is fun but benefits and stimulates the mind.

Gift number THREE is always a toss up its either something Religious or a Noise Maker (considering your leisure item wasn’t already a noise maker). Parents please don’t beat me for the noise maker one but come on it’s Christmas, live a little.

Friends and Family usually come by and shower more gifts on top of One, Two, Three so really is a win win scenario!

Christmas is meant to be fun and a time spent with family. Let us remember those in need and spread the Christmas cheer through out all of our gift giving choose a charity of your choice and make someone smile.

So what are you buying your kids and whats your gift giving strategy?

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

 

 

 

Fun Galaxy – Family Fun day & Entertainment

Fun Galaxy – Family Fun day & Entertainment

Took me a minute but I finally made my way up Bernard Road and hit up the newest Family Entertainment spot FUN GALAXY.

What is Fun Galaxy you may ask? It’s an indoor amusement park that has a combination of rides, games and party rooms.

I knew Fun Galaxy had been open for a few months but I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Equipped with six rides in total including the Family Favorite “Bumper Cars”. It’s easy to see why this can quickly become the newest hang out.

I know what you are thinking, only six rides…Yea initially I thought well that’s pretty lame but then when I really got into it (and my pocket) it was not so bad after all. Have you ever been to Disney World and walked the theme park? It is exhausting going from ride to ride, line to line trying to cram it all in about 48 hours or less to get the most of your experience. Fun Galaxy was the perfect Sunday adventure with not too much rides, not too much lines and best of all not too much money and just enough family fun.

One of the best things I liked about Fun Galaxy was that there was no cover charge to enter. You simply just pay for your rides and/or games , food and get ready to have fun. For $15 your child is able to ride all of the rides one time or spend $2.50 per ride with the exception of the bumpers which was $3 per ride.  I choose the $15 option, seemed reasonable enough.

There are food and drinks on sale which were pretty standard as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure if this was the standard or not but parents we’re allowed to accompany younger kids on rides without having to pay for two tickets. This was a bonus for me! I also liked the fact that all rides were made for kids of all ages. Meaning I didn’t have to worry about my 2 year old being left out while my 6 year old had all the fun. They were able to ride all the rides together if needed (well maybe not the Pirate Ship but yea you get the idea…)

Fun Galaxy is open 7 days a week but I would check before going to confirm opening hours. Overall,  for the smiles on my daughters face this place is worth the tokens and more!