Put Your Savings to Work
It’s never too early to start saving for college! Even a small amount of savings each month can add up to huge savings later – and hopefully reduce the need for you or your child to take out student loans.
And, it’s never too late to start saving for college either. Money can be tight during college, so putting even a few dollars into a savings account every month can really come in handy during an emergency and set you up with good saving habits to last a lifetime. Talk to your bank or a financial planner about safe investment options that offer better interest rate returns than a traditional savings account, and start saving.
Start Saving Early With Help From a Student 529 Plan
Put your savings to work for you by opening an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan. It only takes $10 to get started, and your account grows, free of taxes. Withdrawals for education expenses are also tax-free. Plus, Indiana taxpayers are eligible for a state income tax credit of 20% of all money contributed to a Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan account, up to $1,000 credit per year. You can turn that money into another Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan deposit, and another tax credit for the following year to really watch it grow.
You can also sign up for Upromise, and part of what you spend on eligible purchases (like groceries, gasoline and shopping) will be contributed automatically back into your Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan.
Your education might end up being the most important investment you ever make. Everyone understands that investing for college is important, but it can be easy to put it off. It’s never too late to start putting aside cash for your education, but when you start saving early, the money really stacks up!
Make A College Budget That Works!
There are a lot of financial uncertainties about going to college. You probably don’t know exactly what your financial aid package will be, the money you’ll make while working a job outside of classes, or how much your expenses will end up being. However, you can still get started on thinking about how you’re going to budget your money. Get an idea of how much you may need to pay using the College Scorecard, and see the table below to make an estimation.
How to Create a Budget
A budget can be a lifesaver, making sure you have the money to pay the bills and letting you know how much you can spend on the fun stuff. Follow these steps to create a budget that works for you:
- Add up all your household income for one month.
- Add up your fixed expenses: essential costs like rent or mortgage payments, food, utility bills and car expenses, like gas and insurance. These expenses shouldn’t vary too much month to month.
- Subtract your total fixed expenses from your total income.
- Take out an amount for college savings (as much as you think you can afford).
- The money that remains can be spent on flexible expenses, such as entertainment and eating out, or put aside for those unexpected expenses that come up.