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Plan Ahead: Saving for College to Combat Rising Costs

Sep 17, 2019, 06:00 AM
Dollar sign with graduation cap on top

Although the escalating costs of college may seem overwhelming, planning for this expense ahead of time can help put your mind at ease. That’s why it’s important to start saving for college early. How early you ask? Preferably before your child can even walk or talk. But, by adopting some simple strategies, you can save money for college and know what your payment options are.

Save as Early as You Can

The more time you have on your side, the better. But as we all know, life sometimes gets in the way. So, whether you have 10 years to save, or they’re heading off to college next year, budget in your child’s college fund. And, most importantly, don’t get discouraged if you think you are making a limited contribution toward saving. Because even small amounts can add up.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

Deciding how you spend your money is very important. Closely observe your spending habits and adjust accordingly in order to meet your college savings fund goals.  Think you could use some help making better decisions related to managing your money? Learn more about some basics of money management.

Get your Child to Pitch In            

If you have a five-year-old, you’re out of luck for now. But, if you have a 15-year-old and they are babysitting or have some other form of income, he or she could help you put away some money for college. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, have your child consider breaking their paycheck up into three portions: weekly expenses, short-terms goals, and long-term goals (such as college). This approach will help in both budgeting and establishing good practice for adulthood.

Look for Ways to Lower the Cost

This is where scholarships can come in to play. But there are other strategies you can enlist, too. See if your student’s high school offers dual credit and/or advanced placement courses, which will count as college credit hours, without having to pay for it.

Have questions? Not sure where to start? We may be able to help you through this process. Visit our Financial Wellness Center for online tutorials or to schedule a free financial wellness session. 

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