Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

Give The Gift of Education To Growing Families with MEFA

I partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all opinions are my own #UFundDreams.

A child born in 2017 will enter college in 2035! As I anxiously await the arrival of my second child due February 6, 2017, thinking about college and the year 2035 feels like a lifetime far far away! Diapers and wipes and preparing for maternity leave seem more pressing than saving for college. Not that it’s not important to set my children up for success, but as far as priorities it’s low on the list. I’m sure I felt the same way when my daughter was born almost 12 years ago…and BAM she’s starting middle school in the fall! Seriously, when-did-that-happen?!

Pregnancy announcements can bring a rush of excitement and love to the expecting family, their extended family and friends. Gifts for new babies often include baby bottles, blankets, books, wipes and other baby essentials and fun baby gear. It’s no secret that newborns and young children go through many items like diapers and wipes. Did you know the average newborn will need ~10 diaper changes every day? As I was planning for how many diapers we’d need in the first three months, you can imagine my surprise with the number of diapers we’d need in -just- the first three months. Bring on the diapers!

While tangible baby essentials are absolutely necessary, what if the larger village surrounding expecting families thought about the long term success of babies in addition to short term needs? Instead of cards for our little one, I asked friends and families to gift us their favorite children’s book. Literacy has been a major part of my life and has unlocked many doors while providing hours of joy and content. It’s been a priority as a mom to instill a love of reading in my daughter and now in my second child as well. Will baby be able to read at birth? If only! Yet, I understand the benefit of literacy on young minds and the power it can provide in the future.

Communities surrounding growing families have many options to support parents and babies, and I encourage you to consider a gift of education to parents-to-be. It’s no secret that the cost of education continues to rise, making the reality of affording higher education seemingly out of reach for many families. I’ve been overwhelmed with the prospect of the cost of college, however it doesn’t have to be a hurdle that can’t be conquered. Think about how much savings you would have if families started saving in their child’s first year of life or even the second or third. It’s never too late to save -and- it’s never too early to start investing in the future. Small and calculated investments quickly grow over time, reducing the amount of money families have to borrow when they start college. With the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) specialists are available to support parents every step of the way, taking the guesswork out of college savings. Hear from other parents committed to setting their children up for success and join a larger community where savings is possible, with the right support. And don’t be afraid to get family and friends involved! Parenthood is one tough job and I firmly believe it takes a village!



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Investing in My Children’s Future with #UFundDreams

I partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all opinions are my own #UFundDreams.

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It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over and that I’m only seven weeks away from my due date! This pregnancy has been anything but smooth sailing and has me incredibly eager to meet baby! To the dismay of many family and friends we aren’t finding out the gender this time, which is a bit unusual for me since I don’t like surprises! Like many expecting parents, the arrival of another baby has me over the moon excited, nervous and a bit overwhelmed. Babies are wonderful little creatures but there is a ton to plan and prepare for and now that we’re in the final stretch I’m anxious to get everything in order before he/she makes their arrival. What’s weighing heavy on my mind these days? Money and savings. How to make the most of what we’re bringing in and investing in our children’s future so we when we say sky is the limit, we truly mean it.

Being a parent for 11 years (!!) now I’ve navigated saving for the future a few different ways and as life changed my methods have too. One thing is for sure, I could do a better job! And with another baby on the way, it’s imperative I create a solid savings plan and stick to it. But, as many of us know, it’s easier said than done. There are unexpected expenses, medical expenses and everything in between that can deplete a comfortable savings account in no time. This has happened to me multiple times and I’ve often felt like a deer in headlights, unsure of what to do, where to invest and how best to leverage my income. It can be a lonely road and my little money tree in my kitchen windowsill just isn’t cutting it!

With one baby due in February and another in fifth grade college really isn’t that far away. Man, I think I just fainted thinking about my baby and future baby entering college! I’ve joked with my daughter that wherever she plans to go, I’ll be right there with her! Not that I don’t trust she will excel and make smart decisions, but because letting go is hard, and I suck at it. Part of equipping my children for success starts with building a solid foundation for them to go out into the world and become whomever they dream of becoming. For my daughter, these days that means a singer, rockstar, chef and veterinarian. And I’m her biggest cheerleader and remind her daily of her greatness.

So whether I have $5 or $100 I’m saving it. And that’s the key – start saving! The Massachusetts Educational Financial Authority (MEFA) agrees with this sentiment. The earlier parents and guardians can start saving pennies and dollars toward higher education, the less families have to be burdened by paying back student loans and worrying about how to afford the many expenses associated with college. Will it be easy? Define easy! But, we’re not alone in the journey and there are countless other families wondering the same questions we have – how to save on a limited income? How much do I need to save? What is the cost of college in state? I need help! I am so there. Think of MEFA as a helping hand and resource for you and your family as you navigate savings. You don’t have to do this alone! With their support you can create a customized plan based on your needs, that’s right, there is no one size fits all plan with MEFA. You create a plan that makes sense for YOU and your circumstances. That way you can ensure your success. Just one small step today makes all the difference in the future.



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Capital One: Taking Boston by Storm AND Investing in the Community

Thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post.

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It’s hard to believe that I opened my very first bank account back in 1998! Since then, I’ve switched banks multiple times as my needs and family grew and expanded. Here in Boston, there are a ton of options for your various banking needs, and when I was searching for a new bank a couple of years ago, I spent a ton of time researching and comparing benefits – however one bank stood out to me: Capital One. I’ve been a satisfied customer for two years now, and continue to encourage friends and family to switch their banking to Capital One because of my experience with the company. In addition to the array of services online and a great mobile app, I have also been incredibly impressed with Capital One’s philosophy on philanthropy, community focus, employee empowerment and giving back.

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As someone who is drawn to community service and believes we are all responsible for the success and failure of our communities, I appreciate companies that prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR) and weave it into their business practices. In celebration of Giving Tuesday, Capital One hosted a panel discussion at their Back Bay Café focused on “Investing and Impacting the Community for Good.” Panelists included leaders at the Capital One Foundation, the Red Sox Foundation and Harpoon Brewery, and the conversation was moderated by TODAY Show correspondent Mario Armstrong. There are several ways companies can invest in CSR, and panelists shared the unique ways that their companies invest in the communities that their employees live and work in, underscoring how it not only boosts employee morale, but has alos been an important learning opportunity about employee empowerment. Be sure to view a full recording of the talk here.

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Impact can take on many meanings, but one thing is for sure. It takes action. And it can often start with one person.

Don’t know much about Capital One? Good thing I’m here! Rhe company brought their Café concept to the area a couple of years ago and have since opened five locations and will soon be expanding their local presence. My local Café is in Harvard Square and it’s such a fun untraditional bank-like atmosphere. Complete with brand ambassadors ready and willing to answer all your questions, an ATM, and local Peets coffee, it’s a great place to hang out and bank. It’s all part of how Capital One is redesigning the banking experience to empower their customers to feel confident about their relationship with money. No standing in a long silent line and no huge barriers between you and a teller. It’s kind of like hanging out with an old friend. Another benefit? Money workshops within the Cafés that offer 1:1 coaching sessions for f-r-e-e, which is an industry first.

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As a Capital One customer I can go on and on about the services and benefits there are, but I truly believe you’ve got to fully experience the range of services to be a true believer.


So, what are you waiting for?



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