Wednesday, November 23, 2011

College: It's Never too Early

Every parent wonders how to pay for college because, let's face it, it's insanely expensive and keeps getting more so. To help with costs, a lot of parents start saving as soon as their kids are born, squirrelling away $5 here and $100 there. Well, that's great, but that's not really possible for us right now (husband out of work and I have major student loan debt). Instead, we're begging on the street...

Pic found here.

No, actually we're asking Wombat's grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and whoever else buys her presents to buy her a present or two and give the rest of the money they'd spend on her to her college fund.*

To do this, we're starting a 529 for her before Christmas where all the money she gets goes straight to that. After all, the majority of the presents she's going to get, she'll play with for a couple of months, maybe years, and give away (think Toy Story 3).

Pic from here.

Why not use the majority of the money for something that's going to last the rest of her life? Something no one can take away from her? And something that's a financial burden?

Plus, she's going to get a ton of presents with all the family she has anyway. One or two presents from each of them still means a whole lot of unwrapping. Seriously, I just counted and she'll get approximately 15 presents if people just buy her one present each. That's a ton of presents.

Honestly, I thought it'd be hard to convince everyone to do this, but it's been really easy. Everyone is really excited about it, wants to do it, and keeps asking us about it. Hopefully, they will keep their excitement when they're passing by the toy shop and see a cute this or that.

Have any ideas about saving for college? Please share them in the comments.**

*Before you think I'm a genius and give me a standing ovation, I totally stole this idea from an advice column. A woman wrote in telling about how this was done for her. While she hated it when she was growing up, she loved that she graduated from college with little student debt unlike her classmates.

**Anyone else having trouble with the comments?

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