I’ve mentioned in the past how my kids get a weekly allowance based on their ages (son, age 9 = $9, daughter, age 6 = $6). It’s been an inconvenience getting their allowance money to the bank. It’s never been a fun task (unlike counting the money in their piggy banks!).
So now I’ve decided just to take their money, and then transfer money from my personal bank to their UTMA brokerage accounts. UTMA stand for (Uniform Transfers To Minors Act), and it’s a mechanism that will allow a minor to have an account in their name, but controlled by an adult.
I have a Schwab brokerage account, and two Schwab UTMA brokerage accounts (one for each child). I also have my primary bank link to my brokerage account so I can do transfers between my bank and my Schwab account.
Since starting my Lunch Experiment, I have reduce my spending by typically over $40 a week! I no longer have to withdrawal as much money from my bank!!! Now I take their allowance money, and then transfer the exact amount of allowance money out of my bank account to my Schwab account, then to their UTMA accounts (whew!).
I know what you are thinking… This sounds like a hassle, and well if I did it weekly, it would be. However, I only do this once every 3 to 4 months. This makes the task very bearable!
Now for the green icing on the cake! :
- I no longer drive to the my son and daughter’s banks to deposit their allowance money!!
- I don’t withdrawal money out of my banks as much, since I just take their money.
- This was a chore that use to take over an hour, but now only takes 5 minutes!
- I’ve effectively reduced my carbon footprint, by cutting out the “out of the way” drive!
- My kids get a better rate of return, since I invest their money in a diverisified portfolio of stocks.
- I feel like I’ve created an opportunity for them to make more money this way… It’s a good feeling!
Little things like this add up, and in this case, in multiple way! This is another win-win for us!
Do you have any small but clever ideas that make your life better or enable you to save a little money, that you’d like to share?
UPDATE: A reader asked me how difficult it was to setup the Schwab UTMA accounts for my kids, because they didn’t see any UTMA reference on the account types. Well that’s because it’s called a “Custodial Account” at the Schwab website and semi-hidden under the category “College Savings”. Below are the steps that I followed to get to the Custodial Account application:
- Go to www.schwab.com (Open a browser and type that text in).
- Click on “Open an Account” in the brownish? bar.
- Next click the white tab that is labeled “See all Account types“
- Next under College Saving (I’m not sure why the have it there…), on the right click “Custodial Accounts“
- Under the “Apply Now” text, choose one of the 2 options.
- I think it’s best to click the mail the application to you (This is a good way to do it!, after all what’s the rush?)
- If you choose to “Download the Application“, then…
- If you read the form, it states that this account doesn’t necessarily have to be used for educational purposes.
- Fill out as much of the form as you feel comfortable with (I choose not to fill out any of it, I printed it out in first, then filled it out for security reasons, but I a wee bit paranoid).
- Mail it to the address that was on the screen. And then wait a week or so…
- Okay, so it was a bit more complex than I remember. Once it up and attached correctly, it’s sweet!