5 Ways to Start Saving for College
These smart programs may help ease the financial pain of paying for your child’s four-year degree.
This article originally appeared on LearnVest.com.
Saving for your child’s education can seem confusing and complicated.
When should you start saving?
How should you do it?
How do you save for your retirement and your child’s education at the same time?
These are all vital questions to ask yourself as you begin to think about saving for Junior’s college education.
For starters—take a breath. The first thing to remember is that your child will have many more options to help her pay for college than you’ll have to help you retire. Between scholarships, financial aid, federal grants and loans, there’s no reason to jeopardize your retirement savings to put her through school. In other words—you should never plan on taking money out of your retirement savings to pay for your kid’s college education.
That being said, the sooner you can start saving, the better. Even putting aside $25 a month can make a big difference over the years, especially if you can start in your child’s first or second year since your investment will have more time to accrue interest and returns. Some options even give you state tax breaks.
As a side note, some college saving plans advertise college savings through whole life insurance policies. This tends to be expensive, though, and isn’t something we would recommend.
Check out the options below to see which version of saving would work best for you and your family.