Money Mondays - Saving for College

Whether your child is 2 or 12, college is just around the corner.  Just yesterday while in church, a little baby boy no more than 3 months old sat in the pew just in front of us.  My husband and I both looked at the baby, then at each other and then looked at our son who is now 3.5.  We both had the look on our faces as if we couldn't believe how time has flown since our son was the age of the little baby boy.  We have just a few short 14.5 years before he leaves for college, or leaves my house if he chooses not to attend college.  That day will be here before we know it. 

While there are several ways to save for college including Mission Tuition as mentioned on Mommy's Links, we have decided to save for our children's college tuition using the New York 529 Plan should Presidential Scholarships at my alma mater and my husband's alma mater fall through for our children.

Once our son turned six months old, I opened up a 529 account for him and began with a small investment of $25 each month.  You too can start with as little as $25. According to the website, you can contribute by check, automatic investment, electronic bank transfer, payroll deduction (if available through your employer), or by moving assets from other college savings vehicles.
I have since increased the monthly investment to $30 which is still small but with an initial $25 investment three years ago, my son currently has $1,268.46 in his college fund with a principal of $1020 and earnings of $248.46. There are additional ways to earn money via the 529 such as this, but I have yet to take it to that level.  Another benefit is that you can invite friends and family to send money directly to your child's education fund electronically or the conventional way, snail mail, instead of buying another toy or game your child really doesn't need.  Every bit will help, especially with tuition on the rise every year.

You can use your account to pay for tuition, fees, books, certain room- and-board expenses, and supplies at any eligible post-secondary school in the United States and abroad.  The benefits of this program are amazing.

To learn more about the New York 529 Plan or the 529 Plan in your state, click here.

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