By Meredith Sager McNett, my529 Content Creator

July 25, 2023

For parents with young children, thinking about higher education much beyond opening a 529 account may feel daunting. After all, your focus might be on setting your kids up for success with learning letters and numbers, less so the path after high school.

Why not make these formative years a time to plan for tomorrow as well as today? Consider a few strategies to optimize your savings efforts.

Start as early as you can

The earlier families begin investing for higher education, the more time the investment has the potential to grow.

Save small amounts regularly

Some parents might think the expenses of childhood might preclude saving for higher education, but whether the contribution is a little or a lot, even a few dollars toward your 529 account on a consistent basis can make a difference over time.

Automate your efforts

Make the effort of saving even easier by setting up automatic contributions. This way, you can rest assured that money continues to fund your account regularly over the years.

Get the kids involved

Teach savings principles to children as they contribute to their 529 account. When they earn an allowance or receive a monetary gift, have them earmark some of the money toward their account.

Celebrate with contributions

No matter the event, include a contribution to your beneficiary’s 529 account to mark the occasion, too. You can even request that family and friends offer gifts in this manner as well.

Gifts support goals

Many 529 plans have a gifting option, and you can invite family and friends to contribute to a child’s account. They can add a meaningful gift toward your child’s future higher education goals—without setting foot inside a crowded store.

About the Author

my529 is Utah’s official and only 529 education savings plan and has been helping families save for college for over 25 years. Learn more at