Recently my son came home from school telling me how his friends were talking about the colleges they wanted to go to. It was no surprise to me but he was clearly concerned that they were thinking that far ahead when they are only in middle school.
I began to feel bad that I hadn’t discussed college with him yet because we do need to be preparing now. I was kind of caught off guard when we started talking about the ideas that he had for his future.
I’m glad we had the discussion because it made me realize I needed to do more to plan for his future. At the rate in which college tuition is rising I need to be more aggressive in my saving for his expenses.
As African American moms we have to ensure we are doing everything we can to give our kids the resources and opportunity to further their education. Preparing financially is one of the most important.
Here are 3 tips to make sure your financially ready to send your kids to college.
Educate Yourself On the Savings Options
There are so many different ways you could begin to save for you child’s college tuition. It is important to make sure you are saving in a way that will give you the best value for your dollar. Additionally, make sure that you feel confident that you will be able to meet your saving goals. Whether you choose to use a 529 Savings plan, an IRA or a Education Savings Account, know your options.
Country Financial has options that can help you meet your savings goals. Their education savings options help make it a lot easier to plan for your education expenses.
And even if your child chooses to take a route that doesn’t include the traditional college route they have other savings options that may be right for you. Visit CountryFinancial.com for more information.
Start Saving Early
The ideal situation is to start saving when you children are young. That gives you more time to reach the financial goals you have set. However, even if you did not have the opportunity to start saving immediately its never too late to start. Decide on the amount you want to invest and have that come directly out of your paycheck. This is a great way to save without having to remember to put the money aside. You can start by saving as little as $50 a month or as much as $500 a month, but save something. Also you don’t have to stop investing once you child enters college. Continue to save beyond college admission.
Ask for Help
In addition to your college savings plan, think about applying for grants and scholarships that can help with offsetting the cost of tuition. There are many businesses and organizations that offer these programs. Research them and start applying early.
Another way to add to your saving plan is to bring relatives into the mix. Ask friends and family to contribute to your child’s college fund instead of buying birthday gifts and Christmas presents. You would be surprised at how fast you can save when you have contributions coming in from others.
The best gift your child can get is a card, a kiss and an investment into their future.
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