Tuesday, September 6, 2016

College Savings Month: 5 Quick Tips To Help Finance Your Child's College Education

With the new school year officially underway, many parents are faced with the (somewhat daunting) reality that eventually, their children will most likely be headed off to college. With the average college graduate currently shouldering $37,172 in student loan debt (source: StudentLoanHero.com), many parents are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of helping their children fund their college educations without taking out an unnecessary amount of student loans. In honor of College Savings Month, First Bank of the Lake is here to help you make it happen.

5 Tips To Save Money For College:

If you are a parent hoping to assist with your children's college educations (or a student saving money for yourself), here are a few savings tips to help you get started on the right track.

1. Set Goals
Working towards a concrete goal is always more effective (and easier) than working towards an abstract concept. Rather than simply "saving for my children's college educations," determine an exact dollar amount you want to save and start working towards that goal. Remember that you don't have fund the entire education expenses to make a big difference in your children's financial future; anything you can contribute will be enormously helpful.

2. Open A Savings Account
While this may seem like one of the most basic steps you can take, it is also one of the most important. By opening a separate savings account specifically for your college fund, you can make a conscious effort to set money aside and watch your contributions grow over time. Our local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks offers personal savings account options to help you get started.

3. Open A 529 Savings Account
Just as IRAs are investment accounts designed to help you save money for retirement, 529 savings accounts are accounts designed to help you save money for your children's college educations. Most 529 accounts allow you to schedule automatic monthly contributions that pull directly from your bank account, so you can continue to save money without having to think about it on a regular basis.

4. Contribute To Your Savings Accounts Regularly
Of course, having a savings account won't do you any good if you never put any money into it. In order to save money for your future college fund, you have to make a conscious effort to put money aside in the present. Don't let the prospect of having to save thousands of dollars discourage you from saving small amounts here and there. Even if you can only contribute as little as $50-$100 per month for now, setting that small amount aside now will make a difference in the long run.

5. Get The Rest Of The Family Involved
If you know your children are headed to college someday, don't be afraid to ask extended family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) to help shoulder the cost of helping them achieve this dream. Particularly once your children reach high school age, you may want to ask (or have them ask) extended family members to provide contributions to their college funds in lieu of material birthday or holiday gifts.

Happy Savings!
On behalf of everyone at our Lake of the Ozarks bank, we wish you a very happy College Savings Month and the best of luck as you embark on your college savings journey. If there is any way we can be of assistance, please let us know. We can help you set up a savings account in Osage Beach MO. We also offer CDs as a short-term investment options to help you grow your wealth. Contact us to get started!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway
Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

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