What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about saving money for children? For me, it’s college tuition. College tuition has been rising over the years, and we know that we can’t obtain every scholarship available. So, one important detail is to start saving early. An easy way to get started is to come up with a plan!
- Set a goal — Make a plan and set a budget. A realistic budget that you can stick to. For example, set a goal of depositing 10% of your deposit into a special savings account for college tuition; before you have a chance to spend that extra money. Ten percent — small? Maybe. But keep it up and over time the savings will grow.
- Garage sale — Once or twice a year have the kids clean-out their closets and the playroom for a garage sale. Sell the toys and things that the kids have out-grown or just don’t play with anymore. Deposit the cash earned into the savings for college tuition. (A bonus, the closets and playroom will be de-cluttered and organized again.)
- Get the kids involved — if your kids are old enough to learn about saving money and other finances, it’s time to get them involved to find ways to save for college, too. For example, do you give them an allowance? If so, give them the option to deposit it into their college savings account. Or if there are extra chores to be done, make them an offer and the extra money can go to the college savings account, as well.
Maybe you already have a college savings account set-up for your kids but you have used the money for other things, don’t wait you can create a plan to put back what you borrowed. Or maybe you want to increase your goal a little bit at a time. You can add increments under $10 to the original 10% you’re planning to deposit. Sure, you’ll be putting more away with each deposit but a little more cash can add up over the years.
This is just a few tips and ideas to get started. I’m sure there are a number of other ways we can add to the college savings that won’t put a squeeze on our wallet. Let us know if you have any secret savings tips that worked well for you that you would like to share.