Creative Ways Parents Can Begin Saving for Their Child’s College Years

January 12, 2012 Category: College Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships, grants and student loans are all great ways for students to get funding for college. While these avenues should definitely still be pursued by parents of future college bound kids, it goes without saying that sometimes regular financial aid may not be enough. The best way to ease the anxiety around this issue is to start saving for your child’s college fund early on. If you’re already doing this–great! However, it never hurts to explore other opportunities where you can put away even more money. Parents looking for additional ways to save will want to take note of the following ideas and see whether it would be worth looking into further.

College Savings Clubs

Parents may or may not have heard of college savings clubs but if you’re in need of a method to effectively stash money away for your child’s college fund, this is one of the first places to turn to. It is best to choose a savings club that is legit, reputable and has a good number of members enrolled. Examples of popular clubs include BabyMint and Upromise.

After becoming a member of this type of club, parents will then be eligible to create a special savings account specifically for their child’s college education. So where does the money come from? By making regular, everyday purchases. The idea behind college savings clubs is that by shopping and making purchases through retailers that are on the list of partners in your savings club, a designated amount from each purchase will be deposited into your child’s college fund. While the exact amount varies from retailer to retailer, it can be as little as 1% all the way up to 25%. Examples of retailers that work with college savings clubs include popular restaurants, grocery stores and drugstores.

Inviting friends and family to join your savings club means even more financial support for your child, since each time they make purchases through the approved retailers, their donated amount goes into your child’s college fund, too.

Save As Your Child Grows

Events like garage and yard sales are ideal for getting quick cash in a short amount of time. Parents that know they won’t be having any more children can easily make money by holding garage and yard sales at least once a year. This is an ideal chance to sell your child’s clothes, toys, furniture and other accessories that they’re no longer able to use. Take the money from the garage/yard sale and put it right into your child’s college fund account. Doing so ensures that the account will continue to grow over time, as well as give parents the opportunity to pass on their child’s things to families that may not be able to afford purchasing brand new items.

Of course before any of these actions can be taken, it is vital that parents open up an account for their child’s college education and make it a point to not touch any of the money until their child has been accepted to college.

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