1. Have your college-bound kids work every summer that they are eligible to work before they enroll in school.
Having your child work four or five summers before he or she begins college is a great way to save money that can go toward your child’s personal expenses. A few summers worth of work will enable your child to establish their own college fund so that you won’t constantly have to be sending your kid money while she studies. After tuition and related expenses, personal expenses in college can be fairly steep, so this is a great way to off-set the cost of college.
2. Cut down on extraneous expenses.
There are many things that we purchase on a regular basis that we can easily do without. Although it may not seem like much money every time you go out for dinner, buy a coffee at Starbucks, or take your family to the movies, these small, extraneous expenses add up. An easy way to cut out these expenses without sacrificing too much is to have one or two weeks out of the month in which you institute a no-extraneous purchases rule—you eat and entertain yourself at home.
3. Start a separate savings account.
Starting a separate savings account solely for college tuition and expenses is the best way to accumulate enough money over several years. There are various savings plans and accounts, particularly the 529, that are designed for college funds. The 529 plan is a great option because of the many tax breaks and options as a donor. For more info on the 529 savings plan, check out this article.
4. Have your child apply for financial aid and scholarships.
Many parents and college-bound children don’t bother to go through all the paper work that is required to receive federal and institutional aid. And this is precisely why thousands of families lose out on tens of thousands of dollars that could go toward a college education. Even if you think you might earn too much to qualify, still fill out all the paperwork just in case. It’s also a good idea for your child to apply to as many outside scholarships as possible—scholarships represent another source of untapped money for college.
5. Buy college essentials the smart way.
There are tons of different ways that you and your college-bound kid can save when your child is enrolled and preparing to go to college. For one, buy all books used and online well before classes start. Buy used furniture for your child’s dorm room. Come up with a monthly budget that your child can stick to based on summer earnings. There are tons of different ways that you can save on the little things entailed in going to college, so that you’ll have enough for the big things like tuition.
Of course, paying for college these days will never be easy, especially if you have multiple college-bound children. Still, if you plan several years ahead, you’d be surprised by how many options exist to ensure that you can pay for a higher education without having to sacrifice too much. Good luck!
Guest Blogger By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for best online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.