Smart Steps to Start Saving for College
When my older daughters (now in their 20s & 30s) got to college age I was so happy I had college savings accounts. And as much as I thought I'd saved a lot, it still cost more. We started college accounts for our two sets of twins (now 11 & 13) when they were born! We add to it every year on their birthdays. Little by little it adds up over 18 years so you don't get buried with huge debt when the time comes to move them into their freshman dorm. It's enough stress to ponder how they'll ever figure out laundry so they'll have fresh clothes to wear and how they'll awaken in time for class each day. Somehow they figure it out - but footing the bill for it all is best done over many years of saving.
Parents Magazine shares these 8 strategies:
1. Track your spending: Studies show that parents who formulate a spending plan are more likely to achieve their financial goals.
2. Avoid Shopping Therapy: Instead of shopping when you are stressed, sad, or lonely, take a walk or call a friend!
3. Volunteer: Studies show that people who participate in acts of community service have a balanced financial life.
4. Play the Waiting Game: When you see something you like, wait 24 hours before purchasing to be sure you really want or need the item.
5. Have a Money Buddy: A money buddy is someone who can keep you accountable and inspire you to stick to your budget.
6. Become Comfortable with Negotiation: To get the best price possible when comparing bids for big expenses, like home repairs or purchasing a car, try saying "I don't feel comfortable with that amount-- can you do better?" and see if they offer a lower price.
7. Ask for a Discount: Check for coupons and don't be afraid to ask if there are any extra promotions or discounts that apply to your purchase.
8. Become a Subscriber: There are many free subscription discount sites that just require your email. They then send you discounts from an array of vendors.