In today’s world, obtaining a college education can be expensive. From tuition and books to room and board, the amount of money needed to pay for college makes many parents’ heads spin. And with an ever fluctuating economy, it seems safe to say that the price for college will just keep rising and rising as your children get closer to being ready to attend a higher education school.
To help yourself and your child be as prepared for the expense of college as you can, it’s good to know your options about saving money for a college education. While there are a lot of different ways you can begin to save and continue saving over the years—along with more immediate solutions like financial aid and loan options—here are three tips to help make the savings process a little easier.
Start Saving Early
Although college may seem like a lifetime away for your child, you won’t regret starting a college savings plan as soon as possible. Even if your child hasn’t even started kindergarten yet, it’s a smart idea to being saving money for their continued education as soon as financially feasible.
According to NerdWallet.com, it’s safe to assume that you’ll be spending $50,000 a year on costs for a four-year education. To cover these costs, you’ll want to save at least $500 a month earning 5 percent all along the way. Now, for many families, saving $500 a month is impossible, especially if you have multiple children you’re trying to save for. To help with this, there are many other ways to get added funding for your child’s college savings.
Play the Market
One way to make the money you’re willing to save for your child’s college education grow is to let your money work for you by investing it. In today’s financial world, there are many investment options for saving money for your child’s educational future. But according to CNN Money, investing in stocks is the best option for your long-term portfolio to keep pace. To get the most out of this investment option, CNN Money also advises for parents to keep their investments simple and become more conservative with their risk as the time for college closes in.
Get Your Kids Involved
Saving for college shouldn’t be all your responsibility. Your children should feel included in the financial decisions for their future, including contributing some of the money. To help encourage your children to save for college as well, Reyna Gobel of U.S. News and World Report suggests for parents to match what their children contribute, talk with their children about being financially responsible, and be transparent about the amount of money they have saved as time goes on. These tips should help your child see that their money is making a difference and will prove to be beneficial to them in the future.
While saving money for your child’s future educational costs may feel overwhelming, anything you’re able to save and contribute to your child’s successful future will be worth it. Consider using the tips mentioned above to give your child the best chance of obtaining a college education and having a bright life ahead of them.