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September happens to be College Savings month, and when it comes to saving for college, I always feel like it’s so far away but when you really think about it-it’s not.

I’ve been talking to my oldest a lot about the future: what he wants to be when he grows up, whether he thinks he’ll get married, what kind of car he’ll drive etc. One of the biggest topics that we talk about is his future career. It changes up pretty often but he keep coming back to wanting to be a teacher. He even told his own teacher that the reason for wanting to be a teacher when he’s older is because then all the kids have to call him “Mrs. Miles….no, wait…Mr. Miles!” She sure had a giggle over that one! When we talk about becoming a teacher, I tell him how excited I am that he wants to help others to learn and grow, just like his own teachers. In order to acheive that goal though, I remind him that college is necessary. That he’ll need a degree from any school he decides/gets accepted to, and that going to college isn’t free…or even affordable even.

Recently, I told him about how we are saving money for him to use to go to college. He was impressed. “Money? For me?! It’s all mine?!”teaching-your-child-to-save-for-college

Right then I realized we needed him to get involved in the idea of saving money and how much work and effort it takes to save for college. So we started a penny jar to show him what it means to save with the intention of depositing the pennies into his ScholarShare 529 account in a year. college-savings-for-kids-penny-challenge I wanted to show him what it means to start small and watch the savings grow over time, and that even though paying for college isn’t something I can do for him out of pocket right now, we are sure working on helping him little by little.

We got out a large jar & decorated it with stickers to remind him of his goal.create-your-own-savings-jar

and we are following the rules of the Penny Challenge. That is where you save one penny on the first day, two pennies on the second day, three pennies on the third day…100 pennies on the one hundreth day and so on. By the end of one year, he will have over $650 to add to his ScholarShare account! That’s a wonderful sized deposit for such a young dude.

If you have older kids, introduce them to the math involved with figuring out how much you’ll earn by a certain day, and with the younger ones, talk about currency exchange-Instead of 35 pennies, figure out what other coins can be used to create $0.35!

By day 365, you will have saved 667.95 JUST by saving change wach day!

When you add it to your 529 plan, the money can grow exponentially from there. You are investing your money to grow in order to help aid your child, loved one (or even yourself!) receive higher education.Why not involve your child to understand how little you need to add to a jar to grow your savings over time? They truly learn that a penny saved really IS a penny earned. They get so excited to deposit what feels like a million bucks towards their future and they learn that you don’t have to be a millionaire to afford college.

How long will your family do the Penny Challenge?saving-with-the-penny-challenge

ScholarShare is a California 529 savings plan for everyone that can be opened by anyone. Grandparents want to help out your grandkids? This is the perfect gift! You can open one for your own children, Employers can open a ScholarShare account to help further your education or even open one for yourself for when you finally decide to jump back on THAT horse! The ScholarShare plans are easy to navigate but there’s plenty of help around if you need it. Your money grows over time, and each time you deposit, your investment grows that much more! When it comes time for college, you or your child will be able to withdraw from the account as needed to pay for school, supplies, and most education related purchases. Check out Scholarshare today to set up your own 529 accounts and get a jump start on paying for college!

Right now, Scholarshare is encouraging you to declare and share your commitment to saving for your future grad. By taking their College Savings Pledge and declaring how much you want to save on a monthly basis – even if it is just $25 – you can enter for the chance to win a $500 ScholarShare 529 college savings account for your child! No purchase necessary and you do NOT have to already have a ScholarShare account in order to enter or win.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN $500!

You can find Scholarshare:
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This post is sponsored by ScholarShare as part of Simply Real Moms ambassadorship.