Saving For College #TakeSimpleSteps

Thank you to Country Financial for sponsoring this conversation. All opinions are my own.

I am one of those moms that has been around the block when it comes to sending kids off to college. Two of our four children have attended college now, both at different institutions, and we have about seven more years until our third heads that direction.

We learned a few things the (very) hard way when it comes to paying for college, but it doesn’t have to be as painful as we made it out to be.

Start Saving Early…

I know it’s been said time and again, but it’s so true. Start by putting a little back here and there. Even if it’s just the change in your wallet at the end of the day. I’ve heard other parents say they never spent $5 bills… if they received some in change they put it in the savings jar and deposited it in the college account. Things like putting garage sale money aside and even putting how much they saved in coupons at the store in the account… a little bit adds up and goes a long ways.

Involve The Kids…

My children love to hold lemonade stands and bake sale stands especially when I’m holding a garage sale. Getting them involved in saving for their education gives them a vested interest. I’ve found that when my children are involved, they take the situation more seriously. I’ve seen several of our older children’s peers (that the parents paid for everything) lose focus, party and get poor grades. Give them ownership!

Research College Costs Together…

Again, having a vested interest in earning and where to spend the money gives them accountability as well as ownership. Even if your child chooses one of the lower costs colleges in the area, you are still looking at around $19,000 a year minimum for tuition, room and board.  When researching colleges my kids were aware of finances and if/how much in scholarships/student loans they would need to have to attend. This helped them make their best informed decision when mapping out costs per institution.

Paying for college can be easy if planning and saving is started early. Tuition costs are on the rise, think about inflation in 10+ years! For information on ways to save for college, check out Country Financial’s educational funding options.

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