Statistics show that it costs more than a million dollars to raise the average middle class kid. That is no small change - how are you supposed to actually save for college or whatever comes next? Don’t forget that saving for your child should be in conjunction with saving for your own retirement given that there are ways for your kids to get college money through scholarships, financial aid, loans and other sources. Are you intent on building up the college savings? There are some smart ways to do it.
Start now It’s never too early to start. According to CNNMoney, if you save $100 a month from the time your child is born, when s/he turns 18, you will have banked around $48,000.
529 plans Most states offer 529 savings plans - a great way to invest in your child’s future tuition. People besides parents can set them up, so it’s a nice way for grandparents or others to help save for college. The plan has a designated beneficiary. The savings can go towards costs other than tuition, such as books and computers.
Stocks, mutual funds Have a professional help you to take some of the pressure off you.
Research grants, scholarships, etc. There are a plethora of grants and scholarships available, even for things that may surprise you. Take some time to research these and see if you can find something that fits your child and his or her interests.
Things you can do to help instill financial savvy in your child at a young age include:
Careful spending when they are young Teach your kids the difference between a “want” and a “need”. Delay a purchase until they’ve considered if it’s something they need to have.
Let them earn money Whether it’s pet sitting, chores, a retail job – if they earn money themselves, it tends to hold more value and be more difficult to part with!
Save some Teach the art of saving for a rainy day. It doesn’t mean they can never spend it, but it’s nice to see savings build up.
With some smart savings and investing, and a few tools to teach your kids the value of money, you can save money for post-secondary education. The time will be here before you know it!
About the Author: Heather Legg is a writer who covers topics from small business subjects to family living to car seat boosters.