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College seems so far away for my boys, but the reality is that the time will come for my first son to head off to college sooner than I’ll ever be able to comprehend. I want our family to be prepared to potentially help send three kids to get higher education of some sort and to be honest, the thought of that makes me want to freak out a little bit. I mean, with the national average for annual college costs at almost $20,000 (4 year public school in-state living on campus) we ant to be able to take a chunk of that stress off of each of our boys by saving a little to give them when they start school.
While saving $80k seems outrageous, it’s not outrageous to think that you can help. Don’t get discouraged just because the amount of money seems impossible to save.
We just began working with ScholarShare -a California 529 Savings Plan- to help educate parents about the importance of a college savings plan. When parents are talking about the important decisions in their children’s future, one of the top things they worry about is paying for college. True, there is a lot of financial aid available out there but paying it back can be a hardship for newly graduated twenty somethings making entry level salaries. We all dream of our children earning a scholarship, but most scholarships out there will pay only a small fraction of the tuition and only a small fraction of students will receive a scholarship that will make a dent in their tuition.
Here’s the thing.
Don’t think about the total amount needed for college, rather think about helping every bit that you can.When I used ScholarShare’s college savings calculator to figure out what it might cost my youngest to go to 4 years of college and what we can potentially save, it was scary to see how much college might cost in 17 years.Don’t be scared though.
Start Small. ScholarShare’s new “Start Small” campaign encourages families to start with small, manageable steps that build momentum over time. The key is to just start. That’s the hardest part! Thinking about it is daunting, but once you take the small step of starting a college savings for your child(ren), you can start small by putting aside just a little bit at a time. As your child receives monetary gifts, you can add those to their savings. When grandparents or aunts and uncles find out there’s a savings plan they can help with, there’s a chance they will. And you know all those Christmases and Birthdays when someone asks you what your child REALLY needs? You can tell them about their college savings. They will receive enough toys as gifts-they won’t miss one toy but that little amount of money added to their savings will grow over time and be a huge help.
Start Small. Grow it little by little. Every bit helps.
You can find Scholarshare:
ScholarShare is holding events throughout California over the next few months to help educate about their 529 plan with opportunities to WIN money for college! The next upcoming event will be May 7th at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, CA. We will update with more details soon!
This post is brought to you as a part of our ambassadorship with Scholarshare. Simply Real Moms received compensation but all opinions are our own.