As your kids grow older, the focus of your family finances changes to meet the goals at hand whether it means you have one kid who is entering the world of driving or one that is heading off to college. Lending Tree offers these suggestions:

  1. Shift to short-term planning. If you have been doing long-term savings up until now, it is time to meet with the financial planner and shift your focus.
  2. Use home equity wisely. Home improvements and paying for college are smart ways of taking a loan against the equity in your house.
  3. Look for the best deal if buying a second home. It can be a wise investment but make sure you do your research. If you are still paying off your first mortgage, think about consolidating the loans for the two houses.
  4. Plan ahead of time to take a family vacation. Save ahead of time and don’t over use the credit to ensure that the entire family has fun before and after the trip.