If you start saving when your child is born, here’s how much you’ll have by the time they’re 17: If you save 25 dollars per month, you will have 9,800 dollars. If you save 50 dollars per month, you will have 20,000 dollars. If you save 100 dollars per month, you will have 39,000 dollars. If you save 150 dollars per month, you will have 59,000 dollars. If you save 200 dollars per month, you will have 79,000 dollars. These amounts assume a 7% return on investment. Source: finaid.org. Putting away even a small amount now can make a difference to help build college savings and offset college costs.

By saving as early as possible, this can allow you to:

  • Start with smaller or more convenient amounts
  • Increase your money's growth with compounded interest
  • Reduce or eliminate the need to borrow

Saving is about paying yourself first. When looking at your regular savings goals, consider adding saving for your own education or for the future college student in your life.

To make college savings more convenient, consider using automatic transfers with every paycheck to simply transfer money to the account holding your education dollars. Automatic transfers are a great way to safely and conveniently build the funds for education or any other financial goal.

In your online banking settings, you might consider creating a nickname for the account with the name of your child, children, or grandchildren. This serves as a helpful way to organize your online banking, as well provide a regular reminder of what you are saving for and for whom.

If you’re a parent saving for a child’s future, consider having your child also save a portion of their allowance for college, which can be done even from an early age. This can help set expectations with the child that they are also a part of funding their future education.

There are a number of options with financial benefits to help accumulate your education dollars, such as 529 plans, Education Savings Accounts, or savings and certificate of deposit accounts. Certain accounts, like 529 plans and Education Savings Accounts, have eligibility and contribution limits, so a financial professional can help determine if they are an option for you and explain the fees and benefits.

No matter the path you choose, saving now will help to fund educational opportunities in the future.

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