By Deborah Goodkin, Program Manager, NEST 529 College Savings Plans, First National Bank
March 20, 2018
Out with the old and in with the new! Gone are the dark days of winter, and in their place, springtime is finally here. This means chirping birds, blossoming flowers, sunshine, and—you guessed it—spring cleaning. If you’re like most people, it probably isn’t just your home that needs sprucing up.
When it comes to your finances, now is the perfect time to get organized— and unlike cleaning out your garage for the first time in months, it doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are a few helpful tips to refresh your savings strategy and propel you toward your goals:
- Get organized. Step one is getting organized, in order to set appropriate goals. Check your credit, and familiarize yourself with your bank statements and pay stubs—so you have a clear idea of how much you are able to save each month. You may even be able to save more than you thought! It’s also a good idea to keep all hard copies of important documents, from retirement year end statements to other year end investment documents, in one safe space.
- Monitor your progress. The calculator on CSPN’s website is a useful resource to help you assess your current savings plan. Simply visit https://www.collegesavings.org/college-cost-calculator/to see if you are on track to meet your goals.
- Put your refund to good use. With springtime comes tax season. This year, contribute a portion—or all—of your tax refund toward your child’s savings plan. It’s an easy way to allocate extra money toward their higher education expenses.
- Cut unnecessary spending. Rather than siphoning money to daily lattes and unused cable or streaming services, put those excess funds towards your monthly contributions. Throw some extra cash at your savings account each month and you’ll see the results before you know it.
- Streamline the process. Want to contribute, but often forget to send in a check? There’s an easier way to invest in your child’s future. With an automatic investment plan (AIP) or payroll direct deposit options, you can set up automated contributions. Growing your savings can be virtually effortless after all.
With the changing of the seasons and the distractions that go along with it, it’s often difficult to remain focused on saving for higher education. But taking these important steps will help you to remain locked in on long-term educational goals for your loved ones. After all, who ever regrets having more money for the future?
About the Author
Deborah Goodkin is the program manager of NEST 529 College Savings Program, First National Bank.