I won’t do it simply on principle
I agree as tempting as it to take money out of my 2 yr old daughters savings account ($2400 already accrued) I won’t do it simply on principle that it is hers. I have even thought of ways to pay it back in the future but I will not ask my children to pay for my mistakes in any other way so I do not feel that it is okay to take money from their future. Also you can diversify that money into a mutual fund and it will grow. I am 26 and the $3000 my parents put in when I was born is now worth about $25,000 and that was with no changes made to the account. If you actually watch the market and diversify and sell when things go south (my mutual fund was worth almost $50000 when the 1990’s tech market fell through the floor). I would stick to your plan and also create a plan for them. If they are old enough then have them take part in seeing where their money can go. Some banks offer “financial advice for kids”. Wells Fargo does but I would go with a credit union.
My 2 cents: I would not use those children’s bonds. You will forever promise that you will pay it back, but something will always come up and prevent you from paying the kids back. I think that is just human nature! And as us parents are already aware, the time flies FAST and you will then be unprepared for higher education.
I would stick to your original plan; yes things will be tight, but eventually you will have everything caught up and be able to breathe a little.
You didn’t say how old your kids are. Mine are teens (14, 15, & 18!). They mostly understand that I don’t have a lot of money to spend on presents for birthdays or Christmas. As for Christmas my bank offers a Christmas Club where I put in $10 a week for 50 weeks plus interest. When it comes to buying presents I pick up a lot of things from yard sales, auctions, and thrift stores that only cost a few dollars. I also check out the big sales Thanksgiving day and weekend, that’s where i get bigger items like a portable cd-player or a karaoke machine. I only buy things on sale and that I know absolutely my kids will enjoy. I also knit so they get things like scarves and small afghans, I’m not good at making hats or mittens yet. Some of their favorite gifts have been previously loved items.
I agree that if you do cash in the bonds look into special accounts that parents and others can put money into for college expenses. Check at your bank or credit union to see if they have info. Also try a public library, the librarians are really helpful. You should be able to set up payment arrangements for medical bills, stretch out the payments since they don’t have much if any interest.
Learn more on how saving bonds work from this video:
Using those savings bonds would benefit you now but what if something happens in the future and you can’t afford to help pay for college? I’ve got one starting a local college in a couple of weeks and two more coming up. Right now there’s no way I can do more than provide transportation. We’re low income so she qualifies for state grants (which don’t have to be paid back) and can get student loans to cover the rest.
Sometimes asking for help gets you people you tell you what they think you should do. Sometimes it gets you lots of ideas that you may not have thought about before. Good luck no matter what you decide to do.