Worried about whether or not you're behind on starting a college savings plan for your child?
The last thing I was thinking about while pregnant was setting up a college savings plan for my daughter. Five years later, I'm still trying to figure things out when it comes to savings. I've been lucky to get help from my parents and I want to do the right thing with my own money, too. Recently I did my interview over the phone with Representative Brian Smith, Licensed college planner with College Planning Services (CPS). While this was convenient, I then had the opportunity to meet with my very own college planning representative. When I started the process I had several questions.
How much should I think about saving every month toward my child's future education?
This was the first thing I asked the representative, preparing myself for a big number. But his response made me feel less overwhelmed. He suggested that, "Instead of thinking about the big picture number, it's best to think about it as how much you can handle and what's realistic for your family."The representative then elaborated, encouraging parents to talk about priorities, getting family involved, sooner rather than later, and putting away what you can handle each month. He also mentioned that many plans, including the College Planning Success Plan, can be started with just $250 initial contribution or $50 a month.
You're tight on cash and potentially dealing with one income after baby arrives. What's a smart routine for putting money aside?
The CPS professional answers with, "Everyone that's bringing a new baby into their lives is going through a change, so it's important to really sit down and talk about where your priorities are." If saving for your child's education is more important than that bigger car, you're both on the right path. We all have the tendency to get caught up with baby fever, but the reality is that your little one doesn't care if she's in a shiny new minivan or your used hatchback.