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5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early

5 Simple Ways to Save for College EarlyThis 5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early post is sponsored.

5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early

With college education costs getting higher and higher, it is often up to us as parents to find ways to pay for college. We absolutely want the best for our children and we know all that often means a lot of sacrifice. It's just part of the parent job description. The key to success with your savings and saving your sanity is obviously starting to save for those college expenses early. We hope that you enjoy our 5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early post.

The best advice I have ever received was to start planning for college as soon as your first child is born but I think that many of us could use a little help when it comes to saving early. I know that I can. It can seem like such a daunting task at times, especially with all of the little challenges that life throws our way as we go about our day. It's easy to just say start saving early, but where do you find the money in the budget? How do you do it?

The good news is this. If you start saving early, it doesn't take a lot of day to day savings to add up into real dollars by the time the college years roll around for your child. Let's start at day one. You have a brand new baby and money is tight, where do you begin?

5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early

1. Save all of your spare change.

Seriously. Just set up a big jar somewhere in your home and throw all your loose change into the thing every night. You will be surprised at how quickly that change will add up. Our loose change jar is a large old pickle jar, and it gets counted and saved every few months in our house. The last time we emptied it (about a month ago) there was $400 in that jar. Not to bad for bunch of change!

5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early2. Use apps that give you a percentage of your purchases back in cash.

Ibotta, Upromise, Ebates and so many more. There are lots of app that you can put on your phone and computer that will rebate money back to you for things that you are already purchasing. That's like free money…perfect for savings. We use these types of apps constantly, and easily bank $100 a month in savings money this way.

3. Start saving automatically through your bank.

Most banks will let you set up a monthly auto transfer to savings. Go ahead and set one up, and transfer a little cash every month. This will help you think about savings like a bill…something that just has to be paid every month. Don't focus too much on the amount at first. Set it at an amount that you will be comfortable covering, and don't worry if the amount you can save each month in this way is small. Just remember, small numbers become big numbers when given enough time.

5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early

4. Document your expenses, and look for places to save.

Write down every penny you spend for a month, and I mean everything. Every coffee. Every sandwich. Everything. Then at the end of the month, go through your expenditures and really look at where the money went. More times than not, we have been able to identify places where we could save money as a family after completing this exercise. l

5. Talk to a professional.

Sometimes a second set of eyes is exactly what it takes to solve a problem, and it certainly helps if those eyes happen to be experts in your problem. Take for example Country Financial. They have a group within their organization whose whole professional purpose is to help parents and families come up with realistic plans on how to deal with future life expenses such as college. Country Financial also has calculators and information that help to make the research and planning part of saving for college a little easier. You can check out some of this info here if you like.

Doing any of things is a great start and that's what counts…you have to take step one and start. When it comes to saving and paying for college, starting to save as early as possible is the key. Take that first step and get your savings on, and when your ready, talk to a professional. We hope that you enjoyed our 5 Simple Ways to Save for College Early post.

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32 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. These are definitely going to help. It’s nice to know that you’re always working towards something great!

  2. I really need to get started on saving for college. The kids are growing up so fast and I know how soon college will sneak up on us. I want to make sure the girls can choose the colleges they want.

  3. Ruth I.

    These are great tips. I follow a formula for my salary, as soon as I get it I put 30-40% for my saving and the rest is for expenses. It is effective but difficult.

  4. Kathy

    These are all wonderful tips. I’ve always saved my change for my daughters. They put them in their piggy banks all the time.

  5. Michelle Cantu

    Great ideas, I could really start doing these immediately. I really need to start documenting my spending and looking for ways to save.

  6. Ave

    Our daughter is 5 now and a couple of days ago we talked with my husband about our daughter’s college education and if we should start saving now. I really like the tips you shared! We are already doing the spare change thing!

  7. We setup a fund for each kid and just put in a bit every month. The bank was awesome in helping us coordinate it!

  8. Amy

    Having 3 kids, it is quite important to save for college early! I have a little account for each of them set up .

  9. This is a great way to start saving money, for college or not! I will have to keep these tips in mind for myself! LOL!

  10. sara

    I love the tip to save your spare change. It really does add up. My daughter brought hers to coinstar and she had hundreds of dollars!

  11. I wish that I had the opportunity to put back money for my kids. But my own circumstances didn’t allow me to do so. But at the same time, I feel that they should be able to pay for their own college if they want to go. My parents didn’t save or help me very much with my college classes. I did better and I felt like I achieved something because I paid for it myself. I went to community college first.

  12. Our son is already in high school and you know how time flies…he’d be in college before we know it. Thanks for these ideas. 

  13. As a mom who had a child go through university already, these are great tips. I HIGHLY recommend starting to save as early as you can.

  14. Rosie

    This is good information. I would add that kids should work part time in high school, if they can. I know so many teens who are in so many activities that they could be working and saving something towards their education. It is important to start as early as possible!

  15. robin rue

    I also think that kids should get a job and contribute to their own college funds 🙂 My stepson did that and it taught him the value of what he was working for.

  16. My mom was going to give my kids money for college but I told her to start an account in HER name. When they go to apply for financial aid it won’t be taken into account in the calculations.

  17. Nice tips! My sister is starting her kids saving funds for college, and this will really help her out a lot! Thanks!

  18. Reesa Lewandowski

    Time goes by really fast and before you know it, college days will be here! We started saving a few years ago.

  19. TColeman

    This is definitely something we all need to be thinking about. These are some great ideas!

  20. My husband is the biggest fan of money-back credit cards. It’s like a game for him. I never know which card I’m suppose to use for what. Ha!

  21. Pam

    It is so important to start saving for college early. It takes a lot of money!

  22. Amy Desrosiers

    I think college 529 savings plans are really helpful for families. We hope our kids are able to fulfil their dreams with our efforts.

  23. brianne

    These are such great tips. We have special accounts for our children’s funds that we try to put a little bit of money away for each month! 

  24. Sinisa

    I have 2 boys and I think about this every day. I am thinking of getting pre paid tuition 

  25. Great ways to save! I love the documenting of spending. I think you should do that periodically just to keep yourself on track with all financial goals.

  26. We really need to sit down with a professional . Saving for anything- especially college- is so daunting!

  27. Ra'Nesha

    I saved for college, but depositing money into account I couldn’t withdraw from unless I completed hugh school.

  28. I love the simple ways to save for college. As crazy as it sounds every penny does help. It adds up quick over 18 years. 

  29. This is a post EVERY parent with young children now should bookmark to refer back to. I have 4 in college (private universities and out-of-state) now and can tell you first-hand that saving early for tuition and related expenses couldn’t be more critical.

  30. These are really great tips! Saving for college early is really a great way to getting ready for your kids’ future. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  31. My oldest just started university this year and it’s not cheap. I use ebates all the time when I shop online.

  32. Sherry

    We started RESP’s (Registered Education Savings Plan) for our children when they were young. Because of this we didn’t have to spend any extra on our daughter’s college expenses.

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