We all know that an education is the key to a child’s future, but do we know how we’re actually going to get there? I am partnering with ScholarShare to share information about the importance of saving for your child’s college education, and how to do it!
I know for certain that both of my children will be firmly guided directly into college, it’s the logical next step in our family. Graduating high school is a great accomplishment, but when high school is over, our kids’ education is really just beginning.
A college degree is a requirement
Did you know that the average college graduate makes close to 50% more income than a high school graduate during their lifetime? It is pretty much standard in the world we live in that when applying for employment today, you’ll always see, “Bachelor of Arts degree required” or something similar as the mandatory requirement for entry level jobs. No degree = no call back. So, it’s no surprise that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, high school graduates can expect to earn $1.2 million, while adults with bachelor’s degrees could see $2.1 million earned over the course of their lives. Got a master’s or doctorate degree? The salary just goes up, up up!
College is coming. Be prepared. No matter what age your kids are today, it is so necessary to have cold, hard cash, and plenty of it. Using various loans, credit cards, and other financial aid leaves most college graduates with a mountain of debt to pay, even before they get their first job. If you know you want your kids to go to college without the burden of financial aid, searching for scholarships, massive loans to pay back, it is imperative that you start planning NOW.
5 Ways To Save Money and Pay Cash for Your Child’s College Education
Here’s how we’re planning to save for our kids’ college education…
Work an extra side job
This goes for the parents and the children. If you can take up any odd jobs here and there, it will be well worth your while. Even if you’re only making $25 per month, this is a great way to stuff a little extra cash in the college savings account! When kids come of working age, they work a side job as well and together, y’all should come up with a budget on how to spend their earnings.
Children must contribute a set amount per year
This can starting at any age, I will personally choose the age of individual comprehension for my kids. Start small at maybe $25 per year, and increase the amount as they get older and have more income producing activities, events and responsibilities. Write it all out, keep track of what they’ve contributed each year so they can see their progress and know how much they have to go. A good idea is to motivate them by offering them a match!
Contribute regularly to an educational savings account
Oh, but not just *any* savings account. You need a safe, tax free, income producing account that is specifically for your child’s college savings plan. I use ScholarShare’s California’s 529 College Savings Plan for both of my kids, a regular savings account is simply not enough! With a minimum contribution of $25, you can begin saving to offset rising college costs. All funds saved in your 529 can be invested in one of 19 low-fee portfolios and can be withdrawn tax-free when used for school fees: tuition, books, room and board, supplies, transportation and other personal costs and school related fees.
Request gifts in the form of cash or college savings account contribution
Birthdays. Christmas. Hanukkah. You know the drill, you write out a gift list or people send what they want, am I right? When family and friends ask what you want for the upcoming holiday, send them a link to your ScholarShare account to contribute to your college fund! If that doesn’t work, cold hard cash WILL: there is a low $25 minimum to contribute, so you could deposit the funds yourself.
Community college first
When the time comes near, it’s a great idea to start your college career at an accredited community college. Complete the required courses, complete your associates degree and transfer to a 4-year college to after that to complete your chosen major and get a degree, with only 2-ish years to go! Community colleges are less than half of the price of 4-year institutions, and a ton cheaper than private schools. I personally did summer school at community college and saved a bundle.
Plan and prepare: College is coming!
Open up your ScholarShare 529 College Savings Account today, one for each child. The minimum contribution is $25, JUST DO IT. Put in a little more here and there, and send the information to family and friends so they can contribute. If your kids don’t use the money in their accounts, you can withdrawl the funds with a penalty fee and use them for whatever you need to. Stay on top of this, no worries. College is key, their future is waiting!
Learn more and connect with ScholarShare online