I visited Good Day Chicago to chat with anchor Sally Schultze about some of my favorite ways to save money while raising healthy kids!

Tip #1 – Start Saving

Sock money away – the earlier the better. There are so many options when it comes to saving, but my favorites are micro-investing or “round-up” accounts, like Acorns, which you can set up to save your spare change and invest that money automatically. For education, 529 funds are good because in areas like New York and the District of Columbia, there are available tax benefits as well. No matter what you choose, set up automatic withdrawals, which will ensure that you don’t skip payments to your funds.

 

Tip #2 – Don’t Cut Corners When it Comes to Teeth Straightening

When it comes to important purchases like straightening your teen’s teeth, you want treatments with a track record of success. After all, you want to get it right the first time! We all know about metal braces, which I had as a kid, but one comparably priced alternative to consider is Invisalign® clear aligners. It’s proven to fix teen smiles. My daughter is using them, and she loves that the clear aligners are virtually invisible and removable. Her treatment could be up to 2X faster, since she receives multiple sets at a time and switches them out weekly which is up to her orthodontist. To find a qualified doctor, use the Invisalign Doctor Locator aINVISALIGN.COM.

*Note: my daughter receives complementary Invisalign clear aligners due to my partnership with the Invisalign brand.

 

Tip #3 – Eye Glasses

According to the CDC, more than 35% of boys and girls ages 14-17 need corrective eyewear. If you’re like me and have walked out of the optometrist paying upwards of $200 for glasses, you know this is not sustainable for your kids – especially if they are prone to losing or breaking things! Thankfully, there are affordable online platforms, like DiscountGlasses.com, where there are lots of stylish options starting at $6.95with lenses, which is more like it!

 

Tip #4 – Diet & Exercise

As your teen matures, you may find yourself stepping back to give them room to live more independently, but keep an eye on their diet and exercise. According to the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), 31.2 percent of kids ages 10-17 are overweight or obese, so encourage healthy eating, and if your teen is not into sports, try to find them an alternate activity, like dance, martial arts, or just walking with their friends. Monitor their activity with a fitness tracker for kids, like the Garmin Vivofit Jr., which is available in lots of fun designs, like Star Wars BB-8 and Minnie Mouse. Kids will love interacting with the fun interface!