Saving Money For College… Key Strategies
One day you will wake up and your children will be ‘grown’ and heading off to school. Have you thought about how you will finance their education? If you haven’t heard already, the cost of a decent education is continually rising above and beyond what ordinary people can afford. If you have more than one child, you can expect a financial burden that might almost seem overwhelming. Did you know that within the next 10 years, the cost of an average education for a bachelor degree is expected to rise to $200,000 per year? Fortunately there is good news for parents of children that expect to attend college one day. There are several key strategies you can adopt to ensure that you save enough money for your child or children’s education. Many smart parents know exactly what it takes to afford an education.
Here are their strategies: Start Saving Early – The sooner you start saving the less you will have to save. This is just a fact. Most parents don’t start saving until their children are already half way to their college years. You should start saving as soon as you have your baby. For their first birthday present consider opening a savings account for college.
Investigate Primary Sources of Financial Aid – You can virtually finance an entire education using a combination of scholarships financial aid programs and loans. Though some of these aren’t as cost effective as other methods (you’ll have to pay interest on some loans) they will still help you get through the college years. Most scholarships you don’t have to pay back. You should investigate little known scholarship programs. Set up Tax Deferred Accounts – These include 529 savings plans and educational IRA’s which won’t count toward your family assets, which the school takes into consideration when calculating how much of a contribution you can make toward your child’s education. Other things you can do include encouraging your children to pursue in state collegiate programs which will save you a fortunate in out of state added expenses. Remember to prepare financially for your children’s education. You have to start planning the moment they are born! If you don’t live in an area that offers solid collegiate programs, consider moving early enough so that your child can still obtain in state benefits in another area by the time they are college age. Also make a point to start cutting out little ‘extras’ such as a latte from Starbucks every morning. Instead, give up your latte a couple of days a week and put that money in your child’s savings account.
Time is truly your best friend when it comes to your children’s education. The more time you allow yourself to save, the less money you will have to come up with in a short period of time! A small investment of $50 a month goes a long way over a period of 18 years. You can save for college and still enjoy life to the fullest!.
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