Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Country Financial. All opinions are mine alone. #TakeSimpleSteps
It is hard to believe when your child’s age hits the double digits, that they won’t be a kid for much longer. But, when their age gets into the official ‘tween bracket’ and you realize they’ll be a teenager and going off to high school soon, it really hits home. College starts to seem less like an idea in the far off future, but it is something you need to start talking to your child about and soon. College is huge these days, it is where your child will become an independent adult, manage their own finances and even where they’ll decide what career path they want to take someday. Unfortunately, college is also expensive and not something you can save up for overnight. It’s important to start saving for college now, especially with a 529 Plan.
We started Nathan on a 529 Plan when he was a baby and put quite a bit in it until he started school and then we stopped. Recently, we’ve realized how foolish we have been by not contributing to it and just how much the money can add up over time. We’ve decided to start contributing again and we are asking for family to contribute to his 529 Plan instead of giving him gifts for his birthday and other holidays, because he is at an age where he doesn’t really play with toys anymore. That is what is so great about the 529 Plan, anyone can contribute to it and it is basically a savings account that the government will let you build TAX FREE! How amazing is that?
We’ve also talked to Nathan about other items that relate to preparing for college. Obviously, good grades are important. I am the kind of mom that is always on him about his grades and I make sure that he does the best he can do in school. This is the first year (6th grade) where the students can be on the honor roll and I was really proud when not only did he make the honor roll, but he got on the high honor roll! I am not saying this to brag, we have had sweat and tears over these grades and the boy works hard to earn them. When he starts to apply for scholarships and to different colleges, these good grades will benefit him so much!
I also believe that confidence and excelling in something that is unique to your own abilities is important. We have Nathan in a four year karate black belt program and this is something he enjoys doing and he does really well in his class. The karate school helps him learn respect, confidence and good grades. Nathan is also in his second year of band and he plays the Clarinet. These are all great building blocks that will look good on his college applications and that better him as he grows up into an independent young man someday.
College is not getting any cheaper these days and can cause a lot of financial debt. I want to be proactive for my son and help build a cushion for him, so that he doesn’t have to worry when he decides which college he wants to attend someday. Taking simple steps is key!
If you’re like me and are starting to realize time is flying, you may be starting to think about your child’s college education. Be sure to reach out to COUNTRY Financial to help you set up a 529 College Savings Plan today!
This is my second post in this series, check out my first post Why You Need to Set Up a 529 Plan for Your Kids HERE.