Most of us don’t think about Social Security unless we are thinking about our own retirement. Much less, when it comes to our kids. But it is best to establish a Social Security Number (SSN) right after the baby is born. There are less hassles when obtaining a SS card right after birth than if you wait. If you do wait, the SS office will have to go to more trouble to gain information about your child's place of birth and it could take up to 12 weeks longer to obtain the card.

When you provide the information for the baby's birth certificate they should ask you if you want to apply for a SSN. If you choose yes, you need to provide the SSN’s of each parent and then they will assign one for the baby. They will then mail the baby's Social Security (SS) card to you.

It’s not mandatory to have a SSN for your baby, but there is no cost to you, and it benefits your child.

Once your child has a SSN you can do the following:
Open a bank account
Buy savings bonds
Obtain medical coverage
Apply for any government service

If for some reason your child does not have a SSN, you may contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213
or visit your local office. Just have both parent’s SSN’s available.

Store all SS cards in a safe, secure place. Even babies and small children can be victims of identity theft.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.

Stacia Tauscher

You have been learning about money management for quite some time now. Remember putting all of your change in that little piggy bank? Now you make decisions everyday about money. How do you spend money? How do you not spend money? By now you might even think you are a terrific money manager, then again, you might think you need to make some changes.

How do you feel about your spending habits? Are there things you do now that may help you manage your money in the future?

Can you think of changes that you can make to help cut your everyday costs? Ask yourself these questions and fill in a few of these sentences.

Here are some examples:

I used to buy a soda at lunch time.

but now I bring something to drink from home.

I used to spend a lot of money at Christmas.

but now I buy Christmas presents on sale thru the year.

I used to spend all my money.

but now I put some in my savings account.

Now it's your turn:

I used to _____________________________________________,

but now I ____________________________________________.

I used to _____________________________________________,

but now I ____________________________________________.

I used to _____________________________________________,

but now I ____________________________________________.

Prom is right around the corner. Can you think of 3 different ways you could save money for
going to the prom? To have mom and dad pay for it, doesn’t count!

1. ______________________________________________________.

2. ______________________________________________________.

3. ______________________________________________________.