Updated: Oct 2
By: Jim McMullan
The cost of college is rising steadily, and it's more important than ever for parents to start planning early for their child's education. Here are some tips for financial planning for a child's college education:
Start saving early. The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Even if you can only save a small amount each month, it will add up over time.
Open a 529 plan. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help pay for college. There are two types of 529 plans: college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. College savings plans allow you to invest your money and grow it tax-deferred. Prepaid tuition plans allow you to purchase tuition credits or units in advance, which can then be used to pay for college.
Consider other tax-advantaged savings options. There are other tax-advantaged savings options that you may want to consider, such as Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and Roth IRAs. ESAs allow you to contribute up to $2,000 per year per child, and earnings grow tax-free. Roth IRAs allow you to contribute after-tax dollars, and earnings grow tax-free and withdrawals are tax-free as well.
Look for scholarships and grants. There are many scholarships and grants available to help students pay for college. You can find scholarships by searching online, contacting your child's school, or talking to your child's guidance counselor.
Talk to your child about financial responsibility. It's important to talk to your child about the cost of college and how they can help to pay for it. You can start by teaching them about saving money and budgeting. You can also encourage them to get a part-time job to save money for college.
Here are some additional tips for financial planning for a child's college education:
Be flexible. Your child's college plans may change over time. Be prepared to adjust your financial plans accordingly.
Get help from a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your child's college education. They can also help you choose the right savings options and identify scholarships and grants.
Financial planning for a child's college education can be daunting, but it's important to start early. By following these tips, you can help your child achieve their dream of a college education.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:
The College Board: https://www.collegeboard.org/
The National Association of College and University Business Officers: https://www.nacubo.org/
Your state's department of education: https://www.ed.gov/
If you are looking for a way to improve your financial situation, Boyce & Associates is a great place to start. Take control of your finances and reach your financial goals. Click here to get started