Do you have a college savings plan for your children? When did you start saving? From the moment we announced our pregnancy everyone’s ideas of what we needed to raise good humans were shared with us. The swing (they only cried in it), the whirlpool bathtub (seriously I registered for that), the clothing (that were never worn because they grow too fast.) What people don’t talk about is instead of spending all the money on all the things, why not invest it into your children’s future.
Now you are probably thinking I barely have money for bills, much less college in 15 years. There are so many ways to save for college without affecting your other savings.
8 Ways to Find an Extra Hundred Dollars a Month
- Automatically transfer from a paycheck. If it never hits the bank. It’s like you never had it.
- Clip coupons. I never buy anything without googling a coupon first.
- Buy/Sell toys, clothes, house goods on BST or community pages.
- One less coffee a week. One less wine a week. One less dinner out a week.
- Instead of a babysitter, trade nights/days with another mom friend.
- Pick-up odd jobs.
- Price shop cell phone bill, cable bill, etc. Cut or switch to better providers.
- Stick to budgets and go generic.
Looking back, I can say without a doubt that THE GREATEST gift my parents ever gave me was paying for my college degree and allowing me to graduate debt free. But being a part of the millennial generation (we have been called entitled before) I didn’t realize the gift I had been given until well after college when all my friends and colleagues were talking about paying on their college school loans. Nearly 70% of people that graduate college, graduate with student loan debt. Not to mention the average monthly student loan payment is $351. For a married couple that could be a mortgage payment in most areas of the country. I can’t imagine the stress of graduating from college, looking for a job, and having to pay more than 2x my first car payment amount in loan payments. I know tons of people do it, but when I look at these two faces I want to do everything in my power to provide them with the same gift I was given.
Unfortunately, the cost of college continues to go up, so this isn’t something we can wait until the last minute to start planning. When it comes to college education, we can take out a loan to pay for it for them, we can start planning now for it when they are young, and best case scenario they get a scholarship and we take a trip around the world on the money we have been saving to celebrate being empty nesters, or we can let them take on that financial burden.
If you are anything like me you weren’t taught about money, savings, or budgets as kids. School didn’t teach us and we didn’t really talk about it much at home. So one of the downfalls of growing up and being a bit oblivious to the value of a dollar was it took me decades to learn to save and how to budget (still working on it). So trying to figure out the best route to take can be overwhelming to most. Thankfully, we have Country Financial to guide us and hold our hand as we take these baby steps to be able to reach our goal down the road. I’m absolutely amazed at how a little goes a long way.
Something to think about this holiday season, instead of “investing” in all those toys they won’t play with in six months, invest in their future and ask family to help too. Makes organizing the playroom day after Christmas that much easier. And you never know, one-day several decades from now they might be publically thanking you for the sacrifices and planning you made.
Thank you Mom and Dad!