A menu of healthy saving ideas for 2019
The New Year always has a way of getting us thinking about the big things.
First, we consider again how time flies. There is that inevitable moment when we think, “2019, already?” And then a little voice reminds us that we’ve felt this incredulity many times before, and those years are now in the distant past. Our children, growing so quickly, leave us wishing, “Time, slow down!” But we know it won’t, so we recommit to living more in the present with them.
The New Year also inspires us to embrace new opportunities. We usually have just spent an entire holiday season overindulging, whether it’s physical (too many Christmas cookies), financial (too many holiday gifts), or both. Come January, we feel more than ready to tighten our own reins. We pledge to eat more healthily, exercise regularly, and spend more responsibly.
But these tweaks aren’t just about self-denial; they’re better than that! They are all about setting goals and then doing what it takes to reach them, whether it requires small adjustments or tough discipline. When we focus less on what we’re giving up and more on the good things we’ll get in exchange, we will be more successful and enjoy the journey.
Saving for college is one of those undeniably good journeys. As you seize this seasonal opportunity to pause, evaluate and reset; as you set new short-term goals for this year and longer-term goals for this life, we encourage you to factor in planning for college. You already know that time is ticking, and that while your kids might be little now, one day you’ll wake up and they’ll be high school graduates.
Knowing that you are saving for that future makes it easier to savor each precious day with them.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
If you’re looking for practical suggestions on how to transition “saving for college” from a fuzzy dream into a promising reality, we have a buffet of ideas (see what we did there!):
— Open a Florida 529 Savings Plan. There is no application fee or minimum contribution to get started, which makes it easy to do right now.
— Once you have a Savings Plan established, automate a monthly withdrawal.
— If you have an automated monthly withdrawal, think about whether you can raise your contribution rate by $10 a month. How about $25 a month? More?
— Lock in tuition rates and purchase a Florida Prepaid College Plan. Explore our five Prepaid Plans to find the one that best fits your budget and goals. If you want to start simple, our most affordable option is the 1-Year Florida University Plan. It will get you off to an excellent start, and you can add on later. Many plan holders have both a Prepaid plan and a Savings Plan.
— Start using a monthly budget if you aren’t already, so that you can “tell your money where to go.” Put a line item in that budget for college savings, of course!
— Plan now to use a recent raise or year-end work bonus toward college savings. You’re already accustomed to living on what you currently make, so plan to set aside any overage toward college.
— Plan now to use this year’s tax return, or a portion of it, to save for college.
From all of us at Florida Prepaid, we hope that 2019 is your best year yet!