I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA for this post in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My baby will be in the 3rd grade in the Fall. The THIRD grade people. It’s scary to see how fast she’s growing up and into her own young woman. Just last week she got her very own email address! In my first email to her I asked her to stop growing, to which she responded “I will grow one day. You can’t stop me.” Yep, my heart completely melted. There is so much to plan for now that I often forget to look ahead. My life is very much in the present and doesn’t leave room to consider planning for future events and happenings like college. And while I’d rather my 8 year old stay young and innocent forever – life cannot stop just because I want it too and I have to be smart about planning for her future now. Part of that planning includes saving for college.
You may have seen a colorful tent at some local events throughout Boston and beyond. Within the walls of these U.Fund Dreams tent are opportunities for kids and their family to experience their dreams like never before. This past weekend my daughter and I visited the U.Funds Dreams Tent at the WGBH FunFest in Boston where we walked away with some information on how we can get started with saving for college and our college savings options.
Doesn’t she look excited?! These Dream Tents encourage families to see their children’s dreams come to life through interactive activities, educational information, and a green screen. Yep, like the ones on movie sets! Whether your youngsters dream is to become an architect, astronaut or teacher the dream tent wants kids to dream and dream BIG while realizing the sky is the limit! I want to support my daughter in whatever career she decides to pursue, but one thing is clear. I won’t be able to support her higher education without some savings to get her through.
The great folks over at Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) know how scary and overwhelming saving for college can be – but want you to know that it’s POSSIBLE…with some planning of course! Below are five tips to get you and your family saving for college:
- Develop a budget that includes a college savings plan.
- Use a notebook, spreadsheet, or smart phone app to track personal and household spending for a week to identify areas for savings. Next try tracking your expenses for a month.
- Save money on lunch. Make a double-batch of dinner & wrap up leftovers to take to work that week.
- Save for a short-term goal, like a family movie night. Show yourself that savings works, then aim higher.
- Put some of your tax refund towards college savings.
I know I’ve got some SERIOUS work to do to build up my daughter’s college savings. But I’m happy to say I’ve already started. It’s not A LOT, but it’s started and that’s something! I’m sure a few of the tips many of you have already implemented, but like many of us, just need to be more consistent.
How do you and your family save for college? What tips would you share with other families? For 5 more college saving tips from MEFA be sure to CLICK HERE!