Education is more than important. In a world where information is more precious than anything, being educated can mean a lot. Of course, there are a lot of people who make it through without a higher education diploma – but, in the end, college can still mean a lot for your future.
Unfortunately, higher education can be quite expensive. Depending on where you live and what you want to study (and where), you will have to take thousands and thousands of dollars out of your pocket – and that is a lot no matter how you look at it.
How to save money for college? What are some of the most important tips to remember about it?
Really, do it. It may seem that you only have 5-10-15 years until you will have to pay for college. But the absolute truth is that these years will vanish before you even notice. Starting as soon as possible means that you have more time to handle it all – and it also means that you will not have to put on hold all your other plans or lower your living standards to save money for college. The more time you have, the more realistic your goals will be.
Have a Very Clear Goal
If you want to make sure you save enough money for college, set a very clear goal. Also, take into account the fact that the price of education may rise over the years, so it would be a better idea to set a higher goal with every year that goes by. This way you minimize the odds that you will have borrow more money when the time comes.
Automate Your Savings
Once you know how much money you need to save, see how much you have to save every month and set that money aside. To make things easier (and to make it less tempting as well), automate the entire process by asking your bank to automatically move money from your checking account to your savings account. This way, you will avoid spending the money you need to save and you will know for sure that they are set aside every month.
Similar to a retirement fund, a 529 plan can also be a good option when saving money for college. It is extremely important that you keep yourself well-informed, to know exactly how this type of plan works and how much it can help you in terms of savings. In the end, each situation is special in its own way, so you are the only one to decide if a 529 plan is helpful for you or not.
Apply for Scholarships and Grants
Thankfully, there are a lot of scholarships to help you (or your children) minimize the investment they have to make when going to college. However, please keep in mind the fact that it is of the utmost importance that you apply for as many scholarships as possible, so that you maximize the chances you/your children are accepted for as many of them (and thus, lower the sum of money needed for college tuition and/or living costs).