College Planning while Preschooling
My children are 3 and 6. And I’m already thinking about college. Why? Am I working to get them on a “college track” as soon as possible? No. Am I aiming for Ivy League entrance at 15? No. I’m not pressuring them to think about college yet, either. We are still working on tying shoes and exploring the creek without falling in.
I want to discuss saving for college. Why? Because I’m still paying off my own student loans. Ugh. They should make you read Financial Peace before you sign the dotted line for a student loan. College is a huge expense and if your child decides to go, wouldn’t it be nice to help them go without the burden of student loans?
If you’re looking for a great head start on those savings, Carson-Dellosa is sponsoring an incredible giveaway! (Disclosure: I would share this giveaway anyway because it’s awesome, however, I am being compensated for my time.) Go here to enter to win. Homeschoolers are eligible and there is a $2,000 grand prize and two $1,000 first prizes. This is going to be a great blessing to the winning families!
Ways to Save
Here are just a few suggestions of ways to start those college savings early.
- 529 Educational Savings Accounts. We have one for both boys. What is a 529? A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle in the United States designed to encourage saving for the future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary.
- In lieu of gifts for birthdays and holidays, ask family to contribute to the educational savings for your child. If your children are like mine, they will never know the difference since they already have so much stuff.
- Make savings for education a regular part of your monthly budget. Just as you budget for tithing, for groceries, and hopefully for your own savings, it’s good to budget for your children’s savings. Even if it is only $5 per child per month, that’s $60 a year more than would be there if you don’t budget savings for their education.
- When you sell used curriculum, baby items you’re finished with, etc. put all or part of those earnings into the savings plan.
- When your budget for curriculum ends up being more than your expenditures, take the leftover money and put it into their savings fund. I actually have a lot of fun trying to keep my purchases under the budget. Seeing what I can find used or for free is a bit like thrifting for the prefect pair of shoes and finding them!
Your children will thank you for being so prepared. It also helps them to understand the importance of saving for larger expenses. A life lesson we all need refreshing on from time to time.
Don’t forget to go enter to win the scholarship! It’s really easy, just enter your name and email. Good luck!