Family Finance Trends

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This week we got to talk to finance expert Jean Chatzky about money. Jean's an award-winning journalist and best-selling author (The Difference, etc.)'??as well as a smart mom! It was perfect timing for a Momtrends exclusive'??moms are setting back to school budgets, the financial markets are in turmoil and many of us are not feeling especially secure about our finances.

Jean was taking part in a media tour to talk about a new BabyCenter.com report: the 2011 U.S. Cost of Raising a Child Report. More than 1,000 BabyCenter moms completed the survey, answering questions about their finances, how money impacts their decision to have children, if they would save for retirement over their kids'?? college education, and more.

Jean believes there is power in '??taking control of finances'? and we couldn'??t agree more. This savvy money reporter knows all too well about budgeting for kids. '??Raising kids is unfortunately expensive,'? says Chatzky. To raise the next generation in a money-smart way, Chatzy advises starting the money education early. It'??s a pricey endeavor--the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that it costs $226,920 to raise a child born in 2010 to age 18, not including college.

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Jean'??s a fan of hand-me-downs, clothing swaps and budgets. And so are we. It'??s green and trendy. Here's what else Jean shared about the report:

MT: In these rough economic time, what can moms do to make them sleep better at night?

JC: Control the things you can control. There are two sides of the equation'??the money coming in and the money going out. What moms can control is the money going out. Pay attention to what you are spending.

MT: What spending trends are you seeing right now?

JC: Moms are couponing like crazy. We'??re not talking about extreme couponing, we'??re talking about more moms using the Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon from the Sunday paper.

MT: How do you teach kids the value of the money?

JC: My 14 year-old daughter knows that when we go to Bloomingdale'??s that she may only get one item, if we go to Century 21 she can get more.

MT: Was there anything in the report that surprised you?

JC: The Baby Center Study revealed a surprising trend--women are having fewer children because of the cost.

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Key Trends from the Report:

Money and Family Size:
'?¢ 43% of moms waited to start or expand their family until they felt financially stable
'?¢ 61% of moms are worried about not having enough money to raise their children.
'?¢ 2 out of 3 moms say it will affect how many children they have.
'?¢ Most are planning to have two children but would have three if they could afford it.
Moms in the Work Force
'?¢ One-third of moms being the primary breadwinner in their household.
'?¢ 63% of moms would work less and take the pay cut if they could
'?¢ 59% would stop working completely in order to spend more time with their children if they could afford it.
Savvy Shoppers
'?¢ The use of coupons among moms has increased nearly 30% over the past four years.

They are calling this generation of kids the '??Recession Generation.'? It will be interesting to see if these kids are more financially reserved and savvy. To continue your financial education, follow Jean on Twitter here @jeanchatzy and check out her blog here www.jeanchatzky.com. Read the BabyCenter'??s 2011 U.S. Cost of Raising a Child report and money-saving tips from Jean Chatzky here http://www.babycenter.com/child-cost

To see a video of our chat:

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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