Establishing a college savings plan for your children could possibly be one of the most important things you can do to ensure their future success in going to college. The two most popular questions I get from families is “How much should I save?” and “When should I start?”. The answers for these questions can get pretty complicated depending on each family’s particular situation (income, assets, number and age of kids, etc…). However, my quick and easy response is to save often and save early.
You should contribute to a college savings plan as consistently as feasible and as much as you are financially able. A good number of families start by just having a portion of each paycheck automatically deposited into a separate savings account. Then at the end of each year they withdraw the accumulated funds and deposit them into a 529 college savings plan. It is a fairly simple approach but it gets the job done and over the years you will be surprised out how your investment will grow.
Online College Savings Planner
The following tool provided by Archimedes Systems is probably one of the best college savings calculators I have come across. It allows you to input a number of variables to help you come up with the recommended amount that you should plan on saving for college. It even has the ability to factor in up to five children of varying age. Once you are complete with filling out the form and feel you can’t tweak it anymore, you can view and print out a final college savings plan report to hang up on your fridge. If you would like to get started with your own personal approach to college savings, just click on the picture below and you will be swept away to financial bliss as you feel resolved in knowing that you have a plan in place to start your college savings.