My husband and I have been sharing some fun news with family and friends the last couple weeks: We’re expecting a baby this fall! It’s our first, so we’re both excited and also a little bit nervous. Not just about things like how to raise a child, but also because this opens up a whole new world of financial planning.
We’re already starting to get a feel for our how budget will change with a little one—including everything from a nanny/day care to food and other baby necessities. However, we also need to discuss how we’ll start investing for our child. Specifically, for college!
Based on what I’ve read, the cost of higher education is going to be astronomical by the time eighteen to nineteen years pass by. Given that, it makes sense to me to get started as soon as possible. Yep—even with our future student still in utero.
Right now, I’m getting all our options together. Different states offer different college savings plans. Also, you can even invest in plans outside your state. There are Coverdells, 529s, and other options depending on what type of structure you’re looking for, rules, etc. So much information to uncover!
One piece of advice we are going to head: make sure our retirement savings are in good shape before worrying about our kid’s college savings. Loans are always available for students. Not so much for geriatrics looking to retire.
Nevertheless, it is a goal of ours to put our children through college. I was lucky enough to have been able to graduate from undergrad student loan-free. (Grad school is another story!) A quality education is one of my biggest priorities as a parent, and I want to be able to give this gift to our kids.
So, we’re being proactive, getting as much information as we can now. Maybe our kid will be an unbelievable athlete, or a genius, and get a free ride to college. However, given that their parents were neither, we’re not counting on that. Instead, we’re going the old fashioned route—just like we do with most things: saving, saving, saving!