Dear Dash,

I’m planning to go to college someday. My mom started a 529 account for me. Can you give me some tips on how to grow my college savings?


deardash -BRIJ copy









Dear Brij,

It’s great to hear that you’re already off to a great start with a 529 account! Did you know that kids with as little as $50 in a 529 account are 6 times[1] more likely to go to college? Give a big thank you to your mom for that gift and and here’s an early congratulations on your future college degree.

Of course, the more money you save, the less you need to borrow later. So, let’s work on growing your college savings account. Here are a few of my favorite ways to save:

  1. Birthdays/holidays. Ask friends and family for a gift contribution instead of toys and games you will outgrow. Some 529 plans even offer an electronic portal that allows gift givers to send funds directly to your account.
  2. Ask your parents to make regular contributions. One strategy is to set up automatic monthly contributions from a bank account to your college savings account. $50/month can have a big impact.
  3. Lemonade stand proceeds. What a fun activity to do on a hot day with a friend!
  4. Deposit your allowance. Some kids spend all of their allowance on candy, video games, and toys. Saving some of those dollars for your future will help you earn the career of your dreams.
  5. When you’ve outgrown your old toys, take them to a consignment store or host your own yard sale. Give your toys a new, loving home, and give your college savings a boost!
  6. Earn money by helping your parents and neighbors. Tasks like shoveling snow, mowing lawns and dog-walking are ways you can help others and earn money at the same time.
  7. Halloween candy. If your dentist offers to buy it, sell it to her!
  8. Paws and review your savings goals. Ask your parents to increase their automatic contribution amount each year. The more money contributed, the greater potential it has for growth.
  9. Sell your old bike or a sled that you’ve outgrown. The savings will always fit perfectly in your college savings plan.
  10. Start a garden, sell the crop. Home-grown carrots are like gold here in Alaska. You could really grow your savings with that cash crop.

Brij, you’re off to a great start. Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to keep saving, keep dreaming big and keep working toward your educational goals!

Love from Alaska,








About the author:

dashDash is an important member of the team at the Education Trust of Alaska as the top dog in savings outreach. Dash is often seen representing the UA College Savings Plan at a variety of community events and activities. He strives to represent the Plan with the same enthusiasm that he has for dog mushing.