The path to a good future is often paved with a college degree. Unfortunately, college is more expensive than it has ever been. As such, children are graduating with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. This un-tenuous situation has many parents stressed. How are you planning on helping your children with their college education? We’ve got some advice that might help.
1. Cost of College
It begins by assessing the total expected expenses of college. Below, we’ve listed the three most common expenses of college. Each of them is important to plan for.
Of course, tuition always comes to mind when people think about paying for college. Nevertheless, it is only the second most expensive item on the list.
Books come in a distant third. However, they can still quickly add thousands of dollars each year to your total expenses.
The most expensive part of a college education is your living expenses. Most people can expect to pay at least $20,000 a year to live. You can avoid a lot of these expenses by letting your children live at home. Nonetheless, it’s important to anticipate.
2. At What Age Should You Start Thinking About Your Child’s College Expenses
When is the best time to plant a tree? 30 years ago. When is the second-best time to plant a tree? Right now. The story is much the same as your children’s college education. If you have not started yet, you better get to it.
Begin researching different investment options as soon as your baby is born. If you start now, a little can go a long way.
By the time your kids are in elementary school, you should have a well-established plan. Hopefully, you’ve already got some money socked away.
Once your children reach high school, you should have confidence their education will be paid for.
3. Tips on Saving for College
Putting away money for your children’s college education isn’t as difficult as you expect. Simply adopting a new perspective can show you savings you did not anticipate. With enough self-discipline, anyone can manage to do the following things.
Prioritizing Your Savings Is Key:
Every dollar that you earn should be thought of as an investment. When you get your paycheck, put your money into your savings first. Then, you can spend whatever is leftover. You can take it a step farther. Talk to the HR department and update your direct deposit information. Have a portion of your pay deposited directly into a savings account. The remainder can continue to go into your normal account.
Pen and Paper Are More Useful Than You Remember:
We suggest creating a written budget. You could use a computer. However, using a pen and paper seems to be the most effective. It is difficult to explain why. Perhaps, humans connect with the ideas as they break them down more than when they type them.
The Power of an Intelligent Thermostat:
Have you been monitoring your climate control system? If not, you are throwing away hundreds of dollars a year. Install an intelligent thermostat. These devices will monitor to check when the home is occupied. By turning off climate control when you are away, your Dominion Energy bill reduces substantially. Every single dollar you save is another dollar you can put towards education. Plus, it is much more convenient than a standard thermostat.
Making a College Degree Possible
If you want to help your children, paying for their college degree is an amazing feat. They will get to enter adulthood without the burden of student loans. Your children will be eternally grateful for the sacrifices you made for them.