This Mom Asked For GoalCards For Her Two Year Old’s Birthday + It Turned Into Much, Much More
Before my daughter Phi was even born, relatives and family friends started asking whether I’d started a 529 savings plan. I’m good enough at making money and can handle the basics like filing my taxes online, but when it comes to something like creating a tax shelter for college savings I’m not so good. I wondered where to begin, and I assumed the answer meant finding a stodgy old man to sit across from in an office with wood paneled walls. I pictured someone like the grandfather from Gilmore Girls.
I didn’t feel rich enough to sit across from the likes of Richard Gilmore yet! Besides, there had to be an easier way, right?
Right. Goalsetter is the easier way. The funny thing is, I didn’t actually realize that until I started using it.
For Phi’s second birthday, my parents and I joined forces to throw her a Trolls-themed birthday party. She’s the first and only grandchild in my extended family and most of my friends don’t have kids yet, so the party was mostly attended by adults. I know some adults without kids like to venture into the world of buying for kids, but in my experience, many friends seem to prefer to just ask what Phi will actually use.
As I prepared for inevitable, well-meaning questions about what the birthday girl wants, I could barely think of anything she really wanted or needed. She has enough toys and outfits to entertain and clothe a whole preschool. The living room “parking zone” for her ride-on toys has been at capacity since the holidays. Her books fill a couple of bookshelves and pile up around the house. What more did she need?
Really, I thought she’d like to start taking gymnastics classes.
When I heard about Goalsetter through a blogger friend I was intrigued. Apparently, my family and friends could gift Phi money to use towards her goals (as mom-generated as they are right now). Creating a profile for her was SUPER easy, I just signed up using my Facebook account. On Phi’s profile, I set “gymnastics classes” as one of the goals. Because she loves dogs so much, I added a goal to raise money for the Humane Society.
When they asked, I told family and friends about Goalsetter. It seemed like a few of them were relieved to hear they didn’t have to trek out to the store or hope that an Amazon Prime package arrived on time. When Phi begins gymnastics classes in a couple of weeks, she’ll have mommy’s friends to thank.
Once we were past the birthday party aftermath, I started exploring Goalsetter more. Suddenly, I realized the college savings option on Goalsetter could serve the same role as the 529 plan I’d been shaming myself for not setting up for the past two years. I wish I’d known saving for college is as easy as hitting “Sign up with Facebook.”
Even though I started using Goalsetter to make it easier for people to give Phi the gift of gymnastics classes, I’m using it more as a way of saving for her future. I know kids with some savings for college are more likely to go, so I was feeling some mega mom guilt over not saving. After Phi’s birthday, I set up Auto-Save, so now saving for college isn’t even a decision I make each month. I have a little less discretionary income and a little less mom guilt.
Of course, next time a friend or relative asks if there’s gift Phi would really use, I’ll tell them about her Goalsetter profile.