Disclosure: I’m working with Fidelity Investments and MEFA to spread the word on the U.Fund Dreams Tour. All opinions are my own.
As a parent, there comes a time when you look at your little one and realize that they aren't so little anymore. That tiny toddler who needed help with everything is now a fully-functioning human. You may suddenly realize that college is right around the corner, and while that brings its own sadness, another big concern is cost. College tuition is becoming more and more expensive, and while it may have seemed like a lifetime away, it suddenly isn't. If you haven't put away much money for college, or you haven't started, here are some tips for saving for college in the teen years.
Saving for College in the Teen Years
It can definitely be intimidating to see the discrepancy between what you'll need for college and what you currently have saved. But don't panic. Panicking can result in inaction, and you definitely want to take control of the situation. There's still time to save, so get started as soon as possible. Follow these steps, develop a plan, and take it step by step.
Know What You'll Need
Before you can start saving for college (or increase the amount you are currently saving), you'll want to know how much you'll need versus how much you currently have. Fidelity Investments has a great online calculator that will help you figure out how much you need in the future. It lets you factor in the amount you currently have as well as how much you are regularly saving.
Look at College Savings Plan Options
There are a variety of different college savings plans offered, so you'll want to find the best one for your situation. Check out the MEFA website to see some of the options available to you.
Start With Whatever You Can
Once you find out how much you need, you may be intimidated. But start saving whatever you can. Even just a little bit is a good start.
Find Money in Your Budget
Saving regularly is your best option, so you'll want to find money in your monthly budget. We have a post on finding money in your budget for college savings. Make college savings a financial priority for these teen years, so that you can be as prepared as possible.
To learn more about MEFA, visit their website.
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