COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

Small Changes Can Lead to Big College Savings in 2016
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/small-changes-can-lead-to-big-college-savings-in-2016-895

Posted: 2016-02-02

by Keith Bernhardt, vice president of college planning at Fidelity

For families with young children, it may be hard to imagine that a toddler will one day be a college graduate, trading in a sippy cup for a college diploma. But we all know that time flies, and early planning, diligent saving and creative thinking can be instrumental in helping your family meet college savings goals, no matter how far off they may seem. Whether you're expecting, a new parent, or already amazed by how fast your little ones are growing up, there's no better time than the present to bolster college savings.

Our month-by-month-savings guide can help identify small changes you can make throughout the year that could potentially result in big college savings. Here are four tried and true favorites:

  • MARCH: Spring Cleaning Review Household Finances
    Organizing your closet and your budget can be an exercise in decreasing clutter and discovering new ways to save. Consider hosting a garage sale or consigning unused items to produce extra cash that you can contribute to a college fund. Spring cleaning is also a great time to review your existing budget to find new ways to cut back, such as packing lunch for work instead buying. This could save you $100 or more a month funds that can be redirected to your child's college savings account as a regular contribution.

  • MAY: Graduating from Day Care? Turn Monthly Expenses into Monthly Savings
    Do you have a child starting school in the fall who no longer requires day care? Or maybe you no longer need the services of a full-time babysitter. Redirect this money toward an investment goal, like saving for college. Since the family budget is already accustomed to that outflow, turning a previous expense into a contribution to your child's education could be a seamless transition.

  • SEPTEMBER: It's College Savings Month Are You On Track?
    Saving for college is at an all-time high, but unfortunately parents are currently on track to reach less than one-thirdi(27%) of their college savings goals. Back-to-school is the perfect time to refocus on savings goals set earlier in the year. Take advantage of online planning tools and calculators to better understand total college costs and recalculate your monthly savings needs. By identifying your specific savings goals and using a college planning tool, like our College Savings Quick Check, you can see how increasing monthly contributions by even a small amount may have a big impact in reaching your savings target.

  • DECEMBER: Unwrap College
    This past holiday season, parents, friends and family expected to spend $691 per child on gifts but 57% of parents said their child will lose interest in these gifts within 6 monthsii. During the holidays, encourage family and friends to contribute to your child's college savings fund in lieu of, or as part of, a gift. Giving has never been easier you can even ask for contributions online. Check out our college gifting service to learn more.

Whether your child is five years old or five years away from high school graduation, being proactive with your college savings strategies can help you meet your goals not just this year, but well into the future.

Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC,
900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
750312.1.0
2016 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.


iFidelity Investments, "2015 College Savings Indicator Study," September 2015

iiFidelity Investments, "Holiday Gifting Snapshot," December 2015

For families with young children, it may be hard to imagine that a toddler will one day be a college graduate, trading in a sippy cup for a college diploma. But we all know that time flies, and early planning, diligent saving and creative thinking can be instrumental in helping your family meet college savings goals, no matter how far off they may seem. Whether you're expecting, a new parent, or already amazed by how fast your little ones are growing up, there's no better time than the present to bolster college savings.

Our month-by-month-savings guide can help identify small changes you can make throughout the year that could potentially result in big college savings. Here are four tried and true favorites:

  • MARCH: Spring Cleaning Review Household Finances
    Organizing your closet and your budget can be an exercise in decreasing clutter and discovering new ways to save. Consider hosting a garage sale or consigning unused items to produce extra cash that you can contribute to a college fund. Spring cleaning is also a great time to review your existing budget to find new ways to cut back, such as packing lunch for work instead buying. This could save you $100 or more a month funds that can be redirected to your child's college savings account as a regular contribution.

  • MAY: Graduating from Day Care? Turn Monthly Expenses into Monthly Savings
    Do you have a child starting school in the fall who no longer requires day care? Or maybe you no longer need the services of a full-time babysitter. Redirect this money toward an investment goal, like saving for college. Since the family budget is already accustomed to that outflow, turning a previous expense into a contribution to your child's education could be a seamless transition.

  • SEPTEMBER: It's College Savings Month Are You On Track?
    Saving for college is at an all-time high, but unfortunately parents are currently on track to reach less than one-thirdi(27%) of their college savings goals. Back-to-school is the perfect time to refocus on savings goals set earlier in the year. Take advantage of online planning tools and calculators to better understand total college costs and recalculate your monthly savings needs. By identifying your specific savings goals and using a college planning tool, like our College Savings Quick Check, you can see how increasing monthly contributions by even a small amount may have a big impact in reaching your savings target.

  • DECEMBER: Unwrap College
    This past holiday season, parents, friends and family expected to spend $691 per child on gifts but 57% of parents said their child will lose interest in these gifts within 6 monthsii. During the holidays, encourage family and friends to contribute to your child's college savings fund in lieu of, or as part of, a gift. Giving has never been easier you can even ask for contributions online. Check out our college gifting service to learn more.

Whether your child is five years old or five years away from high school graduation, being proactive with your college savings strategies can help you meet your goals not just this year, but well into the future.

Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC,
900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
750312.1.0
2016 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.


iFidelity Investments, "2015 College Savings Indicator Study," September 2015

iiFidelity Investments, "Holiday Gifting Snapshot," December 2015

 

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