Best College Savings Plans

How to Prepare for College Savings Funds

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Best College Savings Plans - How to Prepare for College Savings Funds

save for your kids college education
Best college savings plans are the ones you get started on right away.

From scholarships and grants, to 529 plans and prepaid college, every stay at home mom should take a good look at these ideas for college savings funds.

We all want our children to have the brightest future possible, to succeed where we didn't, and to provide for themselves when we aren't around.

For many people, that means getting an education that extends beyond high school.

It used to be that going to college was something only the wealthy could afford.

However, a university education is within all students reach if they apply themselves in their studies, and they have a stay at home mom like you who is already thinking about how to create the best college savings plans possible.

Lots of people think that saving for college is the most important thing you can do with your savings account.

College savings funds are wonderful if you can afford them, but in reality, as a parent you do need to think about yourself first.

Use your money to plan for retirement.

It may seem selfish to not put aside for your children, but as you age there are no retirement "scholarships" available to you.

In order to avoid being broke, destitute, or having your children pay for you in your twilight years, you must save for retirement first.

If there is money left in your budget after you put aside your retirement fund money, great! Then it's time to research the best college savings plans available.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

But what if there isn't? What do you do when your family doesn't have the money to pay for college? Some of the best college savings plans begin by having your child apply for scholarships.

Don't wait until they are a senior in high school. The time to start the application process is at least a full year before they graduate, and in order to get the good ones that offer the most financial assistance, they must keep up their grades.

Start explaining the importance of good grades early so your child can have a hand in making their college education a financial reality. To pad the college savings funds, apply for financial aid at the school your child is attending.

There is lots of financial assistance out there in the form of grants and loans that can help your family. Again, don't wait until the last minute to research this information. Begin the process in your child's junior year so you can stay up to date on the numerous deadlines to apply for financial aid.

529 Plans

The 529 plan is one of the best college savings plans out there. A 529 Plan is a savings plan set up by a state or educational institution that's designed to help a family set aside funds for future college needs.

Its named after Section 529 of the IRS Code who created these types of plans in the 90s. Some variation of the 529 plan is offered in most states and is okay to be used towards a college not located in the state you currently live.

There are two types of 529 plans available: the savings plan or the prepaid plan. In the savings plans, college savings funds are created by investing your contributions into mutual funds or other investments. They fluctuate with the stock market which means there can be some risk involved.

Talking with a financial advisor will help you choose the wisest investment opportunities to help you create the best college savings plans possible.

The prepaid plan let's you pay for all or part of the cost of an in state college education. It can be converted for private schools or out of state schools. Again, a financial advisor that specifies in the 529 plan can guide you using this plan to set up college savings funds.

Prepaid College

Some states, like Florida, offer the best college savings plans by giving them the chance to prepay for college tuition. There are a lot of advantages to this. These plans lock in today's rate and you pay monthly depending on the child's age for their instate tuition.

It's relatively risk free and guaranteed that tuition will be covered regardless of fee increases. You can get your money back if you decide to withdraw from the plan, though you will lose any interest on it. One of the reason this is one of the best college savings plans out there is because it gives you several different saving options in the hopes of meeting different family's needs.

Even college savings funds like this can have their drawbacks. This is an expensive plan and requires a great deal of money for the family to put into each year. It can only be used towards the cost of fees and tuition, not for food or books.

It also is limited in that it cannot be used for a private college, though the money could be withdrawn and applied that way. Many states offer programs similar to Florida's. Check to see what your state requirements are.

The best college savings plans are the ones that meet your family's needs without harming your monthly budget. Think about retirement funds first and make sure you are taken care of before starting college savings funds for your child. With so many options out there for stay at home moms, you are sure to find something that fits your needs.
How are you saving for your kids college?

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