September is National College Savings Month. Students of all ages head back to school this month. Hence, the idea of paying for college becomes stressful for both parents and students alike. Follow our credit counseling advice to start preparing.
Celebrate National College Savings Month
Nearly all parents believe college is an investment in their child’s future. However, only a fraction of them have a concrete plan to pay for it. According to a survey released by the College Savings Foundation (CSF) from their annual State of College Savings survey:
- 72% of families have put money away for college
- 76% of these parents began saving when their child was five years old or younger
- 44% of the savers are taking advantage of 529 plans.
These statistics are motivating enough for parents who value the college education. If you haven’t already taken the first steps to building college funds, September can be a great month to start as it is National College Savings Month.
You may choose to start the process either by opening a college savings account, contributing to an existing college savings account, or simply exploring payment options. Whichever route you choose to take will lead you to minimize college debt. Even a modest contribution today will make a difference in the long run. Remember, it’s less expensive to save for college than it is to take out loans.
First Steps to Save for College
You can begin the process of saving for college by using ACCC’s Building an Education Fund Financial Calculator. You will need to estimate how much you expect college to cost in order to determine how much you will need to save on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or yearly basis. Use ACCC’s How Much Will College Cost Financial Calculator for an estimate to get you started. Once these two numbers are known, you will figure out a way to budget for this expense.
It’s never too late to save for college, even if you or your child are already in college. Remember any amount you can pay will help you towards student loan debt relief.
Resources to Celebrate National College Savings Month
Celebrate National College Savings Month by downloading ACCC’s Financial Workbook for Pre-College and College Students. It contains useful tips and tricks about scholarships, choosing a bank and credit card, how to earn money in college, how to budget that money, and how to save on textbooks, clothing, entertainment, etc.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.