By: Young Boozer, Treasurer, State of Alabama and Chair, CSPN
September 25, 2017

Each year, The College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) focuses on September, as students are heading back to class, to get the word out about saving for college. But more specifically, we want to tell as many folks as we can about the tremendous benefits of saving by using a 529 plan. In my view, it is without a doubt the best way to invest in your child’s or your grandchild’s college education.

For the future, CSPN is expanding the effort to raise awareness of our programs. In implementing the 2020 strategic plan CSPN has formed a special task force to devise and execute a national awareness campaign. Our goal is to spread the word about 529 programs not just in September, but 365 days a year. We project that the players and resources will be ready to go at the first of the new year. Be on the lookout for it.

People are always asking me, “When is the best time to start investing?” When I hear that I am reminded of the old adage about planting a tree. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today. It is the same for college savings. If you haven’t already begun, open the account today. There are plenty of excellent choices. You can view your options at your state’s 529 program website or on the College Savings Plans Network website

For those of you who have already opened 529 accounts, we encourage you to make frequent contributions to your account. Save on a regular schedule. Make giving a habit. Find an amount with which you feel comfortable and put it in the account every paycheck. It will add up and it will make a difference. I challenge you to let compound interest work for you!

In addition to old adages there are natural laws. One of those is Newton’s First Law. It’s inertia. Simply stated, a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to stay in motion. I have adapted the basis of Newton’s Law into Boozer’s First Law. It relates directly to saving for college. Simply stated it is: an investment at rest tends to stay at rest and an investment investing tends to stay investing. Fight financial inertia. Start saving in September.

About the author:
Young Boozer is the Treasurer of the State of Alabama and Chair of the College Savings Plans Network. He also serves as chair of the board for Alabama’s Prepaid College Tuition Program (PACT) and Alabama’s 529 college savings program, CollegeCounts. CollegeCounts has experienced growth of 81% in assets and 42% in number of accounts since Mr. Boozer began his first term in January 2011.