National College Saving Month: A Four-Step Action Plan
Does the money you just shelled out on back-to-school supplies have you thinking about the future checks you’ll be writing for college tuition? Do those first graded papers have you thinking about those future college transcripts? If so, how timely of you! September is National College Savings Month for a reason: Each new school year is a sharp reminder that kids really DO grow up quickly.
So it’s a good time for everyone to buckle down, parents included! While your kids are getting back into the swing of academics, you can do some quick homework of your own by reading this College Savings 101.
Saving for college comes down to four basic steps. If you follow them, you’re certain to pass with flying colors!
- Learn all you can. The first step is going to require a small investment of time and mental energy, but the sooner you begin, the better. That’s because the golden rule of saving for college is that the sooner you start saving, the better. Fortunately, we have done a lot of the research for you already. Have you heard about Prepaid Plans or 529 Savings Plans? They are both great options that allow you to save for college tax-free, and they work great together! You can learn more about each of those in a side-by-side comparison, and then take a deeper dive into Prepaid Plans and Savings Plans to decide which plans work best for your family.
- Identify ways to save. Can you think of a goal that you achieved that didn’t require some sacrifice? Academic success requires time spent studying; losing weight means stepping away from the refrigerator. Saving for college is no different. Maybe you can dial back your vacations or devote work bonuses to your college funds. Perhaps you identify a date — the day your child no longer needs diapers or day care — and pledge to devote those suddenly free funds to college. Make a plan, then make a promise.
- Enroll. Give yourself a deadline. All the knowledge in the world won’t put money in the bank. It’s finally time to take action and start saving. A Prepaid Plan provides you with a fixed payment schedule, allowing you to prepay tuition and fees. With a savings plan, you can have contributions automatically deducted each month, and it’s easy to funnel a few extra dollars into that account when they come into your hands. Before long, you don’t even miss the money. You can also invite family and friends to contribute toward your college savings goals with our Savings Plan eGift portal; contributions toward a college fund make great birthday, holiday and graduation gifts. Friends and family members can also give gift contributions toward a Prepaid Plan as well!
- Stay focused. When you’ve finished steps one through three, you’ve really done the hard part. Now you just have to stay the course! Check on your account(s) regularly and make sure you are on track to meet your goal.
Students with dedicated college savings are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in and graduate from college than children with no account.
The process of saving for college can seem daunting, but remember the old proverb: “The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.” If you’ve read this far, you’re already on the path, so keep going … one foot in front of the other.
Have questions? We’ve got answers! Explore our Frequently Asked Questions (http://fpcb.wpengine.com/faqs/#basics) to learn more about our Prepaid Plans and Savings Plan. And click here ((https://customeraccess.myfloridaprepaid.com/selectpath.aspx) to start your savings now!