If there is one thing that is expensive anywhere in the world, it is education. Not only do you have the university and college fees to fund, but also there is everything that comes with this, from accommodation and transport to textbooks and other materials. This is why it is imperative that parents have a plan of attack in terms of helping their children to save for college from a young age. The sooner you can get started, the better. With that in mind, read on to discover some useful tips in terms of helping your child to save for college.
Start early – There is only one place to begin, and this is something that we have already touched upon in the introduction – starting early. The sooner you can start putting money away for your child’s education, the better. It will be much easier for you and your child to save the sooner you do it. Not only does it mean you can put away manageable amounts per month, but you can also make the most of compound interest, which will accelerate your savings even further.
Open a savings account – The next step is to open a savings account for your child’s college fund and their college fund alone. There are many different options available in this regards, with various tax advantages and interests, so make sure you look at this carefully before making your decision. One of the best gifts for kids is a savings card, enabling them to set up their own account as well. You can do this from an early age to give them responsibility and help to teach them about money.
Set up automatic transfers – It is a good idea to set up automatic transfers so that you can make sure that there is money going into the account every month. This does not have to be a large sum of money. You can send over $25 per month. Every little helps. The best thing to do is work out a budget so you can see how much money you have going out and coming in every month, enabling you to come to a realistic figure about the amount of money you can comfortably afford to put into your child’s college fund every month. Make sure you include every expense into your plan, no matter how big or small.
Talk to your family and friends – You will probably find that your family members and close friends want to get involved, so do not hesitate to ask them to help towards the cause. There are a number of different ways that you can do this today. You do not have to ask them outright. You could send emails straight from their college savings account. You may also want to consider hosting different events and fun activities to raise money if you do not want to come across as though you are merely asking people for their cash.
Teach your children – We have already touched upon the importance of getting your kids involved when it comes to saving for their future education. If your children are still young, this will involve educating them on money matters. You need to teach your children that there are a number of different ways that they can earn some extra cash to go toward their future, for example, by doing small side jobs and activities. They could offer to wash people’s cars or set up a lemonade stand. Of course, the money they raise isn’t going to be enough to send them to college alone, but it can make a massive difference in a number of ways. Firstly, they are going to generate money to go towards their college fund, which is obviously important. Not only this, but they will learn the importance of working hard so that they can better themselves in the future. They will also learn that you cannot just get what you want. It teaches them the value of things and to appreciate what they do get more.
Create a challenge – If there is one way to get someone to do something, especially children, it is to set him or her a challenge. If you give your children a challenge to save a certain amount of money during a period of time this will get them involved and help to make it fun at the same time.
Be realistic – Last but not least, the most important element in terms of saving for your child’s college education, or saving for anything significant for that manner, is to be realistic. The last thing you want to do is set yourself up for failure by putting unrealistic expectations on your saving efforts. This is why it is so important to put together a budget, as was mentioned earlier in the blog post. You should also look into the different financing options. Here are often college grants and other financing options available to students, so don’t rule this out, as it can be a massive help.
As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered and taken into account when it comes to saving for your child to go to college. No one said education was cheap, after all! In fact, it only seems to be getting more and more expensive. But rather than worrying about this, you need to concentrate on doing what you can now so that both you and your child can save for the future. What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.
Until next time, shine amongst the stars!
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