Tip #1

September 1, 2013

529 savings and prepaid tuition plans can be used at virtually any accredited college or university in the U.S. and even at some foreign schools. They can also be used at eligible trade and technical schools.

Tip #2: Be Prepared – The Cost of an Education is Rising

September 2, 2013

The average cost for tuition and fees at four-year public institutions has increased nearly 51% over the last 10 years. Saving for college with a 529 plan can help with the increasing cost and help you be financially prepared when your children are ready for college.

Tip #3: Saving a little can go a long way

September 3, 2013

Saving even a little can go a long way: A family that begins setting aside $50 a month when their child is born can accumulate over $21,000 in an account that earns 7% interest per year, by the time the child turns 18.

Tip #4: Reduce your reliance on loans

September 4, 2013

By saving for college, families can reduce their reliance on loans, earn interest versus paying interest and help their student leave college with either manageable debt or debt-free.

Tip #5: You can participate in most 529 plans

September 5, 2013

You can participate in almost any 529 plan across the country. When choosing a 529 plan, always consider your home state’s plan first as it may offer state tax or other benefits to residents.

Tip #6: Small amounts of money will grow over time

September 6, 2013

Start saving as early as possible. The earlier you start saving the easier it is to save since you can afford to save in smaller amounts and you will have more time for your money to potentially grow.

Tip #7: Most 529 plans allow you to save as little as $25 a month

September 7, 2013

Choose an amount to save that fits within your family’s budget. Most 529 plans allow you to save as little as $25 per month and some plans have even lower minimum amounts. Even a small amount saved each month can add up over time.

Tip #8: Use payroll deduction or automatic transfers

September 8, 2013

Take advantage of the convenient ways to save using a 529 plan. Utilize payroll deduction or automatic transfers from your bank account.

Tip #9: Check out 529 prepaid plans

September 9, 2013

Look into a Prepaid Tuition plan. Parents, grandparents, and other interested parties may purchase future tuition at today’s price. The program will then pay the future college tuition of the beneficiary at any of the state’s eligible colleges or universities. Prepaid plans can also be applied towards private and out-of-state colleges and are currently offered by 12 states and one not-for-profit agency.

Tip #10: Give the gift of higher education

September 10, 2013

Make it a gift. Instead of your usual list of birthday gifts, have a grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend contribute to your 529 account. The value of an education cannot be undermined.

Tip #11: It’s never to late to save

September 11, 2013

It is never too late to save for higher education. Even if your child is entering senior year of high school, you can still have an impact on how much debt your student will need to take. Saving for college no matter how late you start can make a difference.

Tip #12: Check out www.CollegeSavings.org

September 12, 2013

Spend a little bit of time with the many excellent 529 resources available on the CSPN website for free.  They will help make taking the first step simple and easy.

Tip #13: Find the plan that best fits your needs

September 13, 2013

When choosing a 529 plan, compare all available plans. Many states offer their plans to non-residents. If your state plan does not offer the features you are looking for, you can choose to participate in another state’s plan.

Tip # 14: Utilize the College Cost Calculator

September 14, 2013

With college costs rising every year, it is important to plan ahead. The College Cost Calculator is designed to help you estimate how much college may cost when your student is ready to enroll.

Tip # 15: Use your 529 plan to cover qualified education expenses

September 15, 2013

The price of housing and food trumps tuition costs for students who attend two- and four-year public universities in their home states, according to a College Board survey. Money from a 529 plan can be used to pay for tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies and required equipment.

Tip # 16: A financial advisor can help  Days of College Savings

September 16, 2013

Hesitant to manage an account on your own? 529 plans are also offered through professional financial advisors who can help you choose a 529 plan and an investment strategy to meet your needs.

Tip # 17: Most 529 plans have low minimums

September 17, 2013

If cost is a concern, it’s important to know that most plans have very low minimum monthly contribution limits making them attractive to families regardless of income level. Some states have minimum limits as low as $15.

September 23, 2013

Tip # 18: Saving is a better option than student loans

The average student loan debt is more than $27,000. Though low-interest loans are often available for college financing, paying even small amounts of interest can add up considerably over long periods of time, making saving a better option.

Tip # 19: Define your saving goals

Define your saving goals to help establish how much you should save and measure your progress. Think about how long it will be before you need your 529 savings in deciding which plan is best for you.

Tip # 20: The savings you make today will pay off in the future

Although it is difficult at the time, the savings you make today can pay off in an increased earnings potential in the future. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, college graduates earn an average of $1 million more than high school graduates during their careers.

September 24, 2013

Tip #21 Open an online 529 account

Although it may seem like an insurmountable task, opening an online account is quick and painless, taking up about ten minutes of your time and basic information. Get started now!

Tip # 22: 529 plans are cost-effective and tax-advantaged

Opening a 529 plan is more cost-effective than other college savings options because earnings from 529 plans are not taxed when used to pay for eligible college expenses.

Tip #23: Why have 529 plans become so popular?

Opening a 529 plan has become a common investment method that is worth looking into. More than $190 billion is invested in 529 plans across the country, and more than 11 million 529 accounts are open nationally.

September 25, 2013

Tip # 24: Increase the chances of attending college

Opening a 529 account will increase your chances of attending college. According to research, students who have a college savings account in their name are six times more likely to attend a four-year college compared to children with no dedicated college savings account.

Tip #25: Choose the investment strategy that works best for you.

Choose the investment strategy that works best for you. The most common investment option is the age-based allocation strategy in which the age of the beneficiary determines the specific mix of investments. As the child ages, your investment mix is automatically reallocated and becomes more conservative as the beneficiary approaches college.

Tip # 26: Alter your spending habits a small amount each week

September 26, 2013

Alter your spending habits a small amount each week to help your college savings account grow. For instance, the average US family spends more than $200/month eating out. Cut that in half over the next 10 years and you could add over $12,000 to your college savings.

September 29, 2013

When you save the interest is paid to you

Tip #27: Have complete security of your 529 account

Security is of the utmost importance when opening a college savings account. As an account owner you are in complete control of your account, including changing beneficiaries, timing and payees of distributions, investment selection and funding method.

Tip #28: Saving is better than borrowing:

If you save $200 a month for 4 years at 6.8% simple interest, you’ll accumulate about $10,253. If you were to borrow this money instead of saving, you’d pay $245 a month for 4 years at 6.8% simple interest, totaling $11,760. When you save, the interest is paid to you, while when you borrow, you pay the interest.

Think about how often you want to contribute to your account

Tip # 29: You can move savings from one plan to another

If you are moving or wish to switch to another state’s 529 plan, the account owner can choose to move funds from one state’s 529 plan to another states’ plan one time within a 12-month period for the same beneficiary.

Tip #30: Once you’ve made a choice to save, think about how often you’ll contribute to the account.

Whether it is daily or monthly, pick the method that’s most realistic for your family and stick with it. You will not regret this decision when your child graduates from college debt-free.