College is a major milestone for wide-eyed 18-year-olds and parents alike. With all the chaos of planning for move-in day, getting ready for classes, and figuring out what you’re going to do when your teenager is not at home to manage, the financial worry of how to pay for college may take a backseat.
However, when the dust settles and you’re left facing looming bills, Village Bank has compiled some helpful advice to share.
September is National College Savings Month, so this month our Villagers’ Voice Blog is focused on sharing the following advice just for you—the empty-nester, the firstborn sendoff parent, the planning ahead parent, or the money-managing teenager—to keep in mind as you’re saving for and during college:
1. Get Serious About Saving TODAY
Whether you have been saving since your child was five years old or you are starting today, have a strategy to save money regularly. In our Financial Wellness Matters blog, we talked about paying yourself 20 percent of your monthly income to contribute to a specific savings goal. That 20 percent could be a monthly contribution to a savings account dedicated to college.
2. Make Saving Automatic
Rather than forgetting to save that 20 percent every month, contact a banker or log in to your online banking account to set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking to your college savings account.
3. Find Other Ways to Save
Apply for scholarships, watch your spending, and sell the stuff you don’t use anymore. Regardless of the college you choose to attend, there is an abundance of scholarship opportunities out there (some that do not require an essay). Take the initiative to apply!
4. Watch Your Spending
Another way to save and be smart with your money is to watch your spending with a budgeting app and online banking. Monitoring how much you spend will help you be more aware! You can also sell some of the extra stuff you have that you will not take with you when moving to college. Get creative with how you save so you have enough when the first tuition bill comes.
5. It’s OKAY to Get a B in Saving
If you have not saved enough to cover the entire cost of college, do not beat yourself up. Given the increase in college costs in recent years, you most likely can not expect to fund college through investments alone. In addition to investments and savings accounts, expect to be resourceful with funding from loans, work-study, and current income.
Our community bankers are here for every stage, so if you want to know more about your options, contact a banker today!
College Savings Month is the perfect time to get your saving plan in action. With these five college savings tips, you can set yourself up for success. Share these tips and tag us on Facebook (@VillageBankOnline), on Twitter (@VillageBanking) or on Instagram (@villagebankonline)!
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