With crucial expenditures such as mortgage payments, clothes, and groceries on your mind, it can be difficult to fathom making a savings plan for your child. How can you ever hope to save enough for college tuition, or even for a small nest egg for your children as they begin their adult lives? There are a few handy tricks that can take even a small monthly or bi-weekly deposit and turn it into a real investment. Think about making easy sacrifices on an ongoing basis, and investing those small amounts creatively.
1. Check with your state. Your state likely has a plan that will allow you to save for college. Look into whether your state offers a 529 college savings account. These plans allow parents to contribute after-tax money to an account which will let that money grow tax-free and remain tax-free even once you’ve dipped into it to pay for tuition. You can make frequent, small contributions to this type of account, and even ask relatives to donate to it instead of giving gifts to your child. UPromise administers 529 accounts and allows grandparents and other family members to give UGifts to children as investments in their future.
Your state may also have a prepaid tuition plan. This is a plan that lets parents purchase tuition at today’s rates, no matter how high tuition rises by the time your child begins college.
You can look into your options here.
2. Check with your employer. Many companies offer a host of benefits to employees with families. Just as they offer back-up childcare or family healthcare plans, your company may offer the ability to make a direct deposit from your paycheck into a 529 savings account for your child’s education. And some companies even offer small private scholarships to employees’ children. These scholarships are usually modest, at around $1,000, but every bit counts when you’re working toward making tuition payments.
3. Look into a brokerage account. Not sure if your child is college-bound? Or would you simply like to set aside a little extra for those big ticket items that occur early adulthood, such as weddings, down payments on a house, or even emergencies? A brokerage account offers the flexibility to withdraw money for a variety of circumstances, and has the potential to yield high returns. Speak with your accountant about the possibilities.
Saving money for your children’s futures can feel daunting, but with the right resources, a little bit of savings can go a long way. Research what your state, your employer, or your accountant or bank have to offer, and you may find that you have more capacity than you thought to provide financial security for your child.