What are the Best Ways to Save for College?

Saving money for college is sometimes easier said than done, especially in today’s economy! The first thing a new parent thinks about when a child is born is diapers and bottles. Don’t forget daycare! However, as the child grows so does the cost of living. The parent has education expenses and clothing and food expenses. Not counting every day regular expenses such as the electric and water. It is very important to save for college if you don’t start early it can creep up on you before you know it.

saving for college

Some parents open a savings account when they find out they are having a baby. By opening this account at this early stage you are hoping you can get ahead of the game and have the funds saved for your child to attend the school of his or her dreams. You may even hope that this savings will be large enough to write a check and be done. This can be a great option, if you do not have to use any of the funds for anything else. However, there are other ways for saving money for college.

There is a state sponsored plan by the name of 529 College Savings Plan. This plan offers a tax-deferred flexible way to save money for your child to attend college. This type of plan is for those who believe factors such as tax-free qualified withdrawals, tax-deferred growth, and contribution flexibility as being an important part of a savings plan. The 529 College Savings Plan is beneficial for you and your child.

Another avenue that a person can begin saving money for college is with uniform gifts or transfers to minors. This type of saving for college will allow the transfer of ownership of assets to your child without the added expense of creating a trust fund. Remember to check this type of saving money for college plan before you initiate it because withdrawing money can come with a penalization because of surrender charges.

There are flexible options such as common stocks, CDs, bonds, and mutual funds. Keep in mind these options are taxable. Be sure and do your research before you choose any of the options above. Such as a CD, this option can be a good investment but the rates may be low. This option is FDIC insured because it is considered an asset. You will not have to worry about losing the principle when you need the funds. An important point to remember is that if a CD is not held until maturity there may be penalties incurred.

Saving for college can be nerve racking. However, if you are employed at this time and your company offers Roth IRA and Traditional IRA, this is an option as well. Most people have this type of account so he or she can save for his or her retirement. Before you decide to use this option to fund your child’s college career make sure you have exhausted every avenue. It is important to remember when using this type of savings for education purposes the 10% penalty is waived on the withdrawal if it is before the age of 59 ½ for you (the account holder), spouses, and children or grandchildren. Before you make any decision about saving money for college, ask advice from a financial adviser.