Start Saving for College Today

Most parents want their kids to go to college, but many times we don’t know how we are going to afford it.  I have 3 kids and they are 4, 7, and 9.  I always talk to them about where they are going to college and what the college experience is like.  Thinking about all 3 in college is pretty intimidating though.

Easy Steps to Start Saving for College

We have a 529 accounts for all our kids and contribute to them every month. The money can be used for tuition, room and board, and even for fees, books, and computers.

Setting up a 529 account it very easy. Most states, if not all have a 529 programs in place. The great thing is that you can join any states program. You don’t have to live there to join.  I researched and decided on the North Carolina plan (NC529).  Even though it’s a North Carolina plan you can still go to college in any state your child decides.

It’s very easy to set up.  You just put in your information and your child’s information and you can start contributing.  I have mine set up so that it is automatically deducted from my bank account once a month.  It’s easy to change the amount or cancel the withdrawal for the month if needed.  I like that if you have more that one child, you can transfer the money between children.  This sounds good to me because my middle child has always said he wants to me a Marine.  I still save for him but if he decides to join the military I can transfer the money I’ve saved  into another one of my children’s accounts without a any kind of penalty.  You can choose 3 different investment strategies, aggressive, moderate, or safe.  That’s good because one thing I don’t understand is investing, but they make it really simple for you.

If you haven’t started a 529 plan, you should, even if you can only save a small amount, it’s better than nothing.   It will pay for books or computer.  People can also give gifts to the plan too so you should let everyone know that’s an option when it comes to birthday and Christmas gifts.  Many people are intimidated doing this because it seems so confusing, but you will be really surprised how easy it is.

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