There is no doubt about it, college is expensive and is only getting more and more expensive. It is also true that a good education and a degree can make a world of difference for your future and be the difference between struggling to make it and soaring to new heights in a career. With these two things in mind, saving for college is a logical thing to do and very helpful when it comes time to actually go. Whether you are looking to save for your education or the education of your child, here are some great ways to do just that.
Start early. The earlier you start, the better. Whether you are a parent who is considering the future of your child or a high school student starting to give it some thought. While it is never to late to start saving, it is always true that the sooner you start, the better.
Open a savings account. Have several different ways to save can be a helpful way to go. A savings account isn't going to earn you tons of money, but having a minor savings account is free and doesn't offer any risk. This account is a good place to put money for the start of the long haul. It is also really easy to get to when the time comes for needing it.
Set aside a percentage of your money. You may think, "I am young, I don't have money!" That isn't true. You get birthday money, Christmas money, and maybe even an allowance. You can set aside a portion of all the money you get to put it into your savings account. Fifty percent is an excellent goal. If that seems too high, then choose a lower number, such as twenty-five percent. This will let your savings account grow.
If you are a parent, you can pick a percent of your money to go into the savings account as well. Whether you are adding to the same fund as your child or you are adding to the fund alone, it can be very helpful. Maybe you can only put aside ten percent, or five percent. Remember that over time, this will add up and every little bit can be helpful.
Do odd jobs. A good way to make more money is to do odd jobs. This can include babysitting, painting, cleaning, and yard work. Take this money and put a percent of it in the bank. If you need some spending money now, then work it the same way as the money given to you, putting a portion away for your future and a portion for spending now.
As a parent, you can offer your child small extra jobs around the house. Maybe the garage or basement needs cleaning, a little brother or sister needs a babysitter, or you are doing some repair work and could use the extra hands. Hiring your son or daughter can be a great way to get the help you need and having them put some of the money in their savings account can be a great way that they can help save for the future and really work for it.
Get a part time job and save some for the future. Saving for the future can even come from an after-school part-time job. You can set aside a percentage of each paycheck for the future and watch your savings grow.
*Just make sure that you are keeping up with your schoolwork as well. After all, your schoolwork is important for your future as well.
Get a piggy bank. A piggy bank may seem like a childish thing to have, but in reality, it is a great saving tool. Get a real bank and not just a jar, and put your change in it. At the end of the month, take your change and deposit it in the bank. It may not be a ton of money, but it will help to add it to your savings for the future fund.
Parents can do this, too. Saving the household change might not seem like a lot of money, but over time, it adds up and can help out a lot in the future.
Investments. Often times, investing with your savings money has a lot to do with when you start saving. If you start early, there are more options. Talking it over with a banker or investor will help you make good investment options. Some options include a savings account specifically for saving for college, many of which offer tax incentives, CDs can be a short term investment with a decent return while being safe, and there are other low-risk shorter-term investments that could help you increase your savings while still allowing you to have access to them when the time for college has arrived.
Saving for college is important to do. While most students live off of scholarships, grants, and loans, there is no doubt about it that coming out of college with debt is hard to do. If you can save enough money, then you can cut your needs down and make it easier to go through college and to start life after college. After all, you will need to pay for college, room, and board, as well as for other expenses and having money to do that with can make it a lot easier.