Even once you understand all the aspects of preparing to attend college, none of it matters if you cannot find the funds to attend. Over and above the technical components, saving enough money to cover your college career can seem daunting.
It is vital to consider that paying for college is part of a larger puzzle. The pieces include the education savings, the income of the parents involved, the student’s financial contribution, student loans, scholarships and more.
Of course, the best-case scenario is to save as much as you can to minimize your debt. The amazing fact is that with some careful planning, you won’t have to find the cash in your existing budget. There are other ways to obtain college funds with other people contributing instead!
529 Plan Gifting
One of the greatest ways you can achieve college savings is by having it gifted to your kids. It sounds complicated; however, it is quite simple. Chances are, family members will be happy to contribute meaningful gifts as opposed to breakable items or temporary fads.
With certain milestone occasions every year including Christmas and birthdays and graduations, the savings add up. Each celebration provides a great option to contribute to the 529 plan. Some families are fortunate enough to have grandparents and family members who prefer gifting cash. This makes it easy to deposit the cheque directly into their 529 plan.
It’s easy to ask others to contribute to the 529 plan in place of gifts. Why bother spending $20 on a breakable toy or a gift certificate that may never get redeemed? People feel good about letting that money grow in a useable college fund. Your kids will still receive gifts from Santa, siblings, Mom and Dad, etc. They will have items to enjoy along with additional college savings. Another great benefit is that the parents will not have so much clutter and chaos to deal with after every celebration.
If you start this tradition from birth until their teenage years, you will see a large amount of cash grow over the years. Imagine simplifying the financial burden of college with some thoughtful planning.
Cashback rewards are another easy way to save for college. Imagine earning additional money to put into your 529 plan for your kids from your regular spending. With the right setup, this can become your new reality. An example of this is the Signature Visa Rewards from Fidelity that pays 2% cashback which can be deposited into a 529 Fidelity plan. These programs combined with regular shopping offer easy ways for you to grow that college fund!
Kids that are over the age of thirteen can begin saving for their college experience. This can be accomplished by researching, applying for and earning scholarships.
This is a giant resource of untapped funds available for kids to access. Many simply don’t know where to begin. A little research can go a long way into potentially earning free money.
Since many scholarships do not receive numerous applications from qualified individuals, the odds of winning one are quite high. Simply following the application instructions and directions will put your child ahead of the game. If they are willing to commit to the process, they have an excellent chance of earning monetary rewards.
Once the process for applying for scholarships has been perfected, it becomes a statistical matter. The more scholarships you apply for, the more potential to earn more cash. Unfortunately, many kids only apply for one or two. Understand that it takes time and effort. Also, note that most students don’t begin the process early enough to succeed.
Aim to apply for forty scholarships to make a significant boost to your savings. This equates to applying for ten scholarships each year in high school. With some careful planning, this is less daunting and easier than you imagine!