How to Save More Money for Your Student’s College Education
Happy New Year! 2024 has arrived – and with it, the chance for resolutions that will help you improve your life, finances, and family’s well-being. One of the most common areas of financial stress for families is figuring out how to pay for college. Many families often forgo saving money from the start in the hopes that financial aid will provide them great options. I see families complete the FAFSA with great expectations but they’re often disappointed when they don’t qualify for as much aid as they’d hoped. Less financial aid often means their student isn’t going to be able to pay for their first choice college – or they’ll have to take out way too many loans to make it possible.
To keep this from happening to your family, I’m sharing three New Year’s resolutions to help your family get a head start on college costs!
#1: Start a college savings plans this year
It doesn’t matter how old your child is, or how much you can save. Just start by creating a college education savings fund for your student(s). Small amounts add up over time and will provide more future financial flexibility for your family. College savings plans are also a great gift option to share with family and friends! If you have more substantial amounts of money to invest, look into the tax-advantaged 529 plans available in your state. When deciding on the type of savings plan, you should definitely talk to a financial advisor who can help find a plan that is best for your family’s needs.
#2: Teach your children more about the value of money this year
Too many students reach college age without having any concept of the value of money. They don’t know how it is earned, and how it should be spent. Some parents think the responsibility is theirs, or don’t even understand these concepts themselves. But youngsters who don’t understand the value of money grow up to be college students who graduate with heavy student loan debt. It’s important to have a money talk with your student(s) early on. This will help them build healthier money habits for their entire life. See our top 5 Money Lessons here!
#3: Involve your child in college money discussions
The amount of money you can afford to pay for college should not be some type of family secret. Instead, take the time to talk with your children about what you can realistically afford. You don’t want to tank your household budget because you overcommitted what you can pay for their school. Plan to have the conversation every year to discuss your real-life money circumstances and project how they could impact college expectations for that year.
Teaching fiscal responsibility to your child as a life-lesson and implementing plans to pay for college yourself are two of the best ways to stay out of student loan debt. Learn more about saving for college in my book, Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro, which also contains information on completing the FAFSA, applying for financial aid, paying for college, and repaying student loans.
More about Jodi and College Financial Aid Advisors
Jodi is a FAFSA financial advisor who helps with the financial aid process to help families of college students maximize their financial aid. From completing the FAFSA and completing the CSS Profile to reviewing the SAR, responding to requests for verification, comparing financial aid offers and understanding student loan options, Jodi is a fantastic resource when it comes to student financial aid. Schedule a 15 Minute Power Chat to learn more about finding ways to pay for college.
Twitter: I’m sharing three New Year’s resolutions to help your family make college a reality! See them on the blog today!
Facebook Tip: One great way to avoid student loan debt in the future is by making a serious effort to save money for college now. Learn our top resolutions to help you save more money for college and how to help your student build a positive relationship with money now.
Instagram: Happy New Year! 2024 has arrived – and with it, the chance for resolutions that will help you improve your life, finances, and family’s well-being. One of the most common areas of financial stress for families is figuring out how to pay for college. Many families often forgo saving money from the start in the hopes that financial aid will provide them great options. But that isn’t always the reality. In fact, receiving less financial aid often means their student isn’t going to be able to pay for their first choice college – or they’ll have to take out way too many loans to make it possible. That’s why I’m sharing 3 money resolutions that you can focus on for 2024 to make funding college a reality!