Learn How To Travel Cheap
Have you ever heard of the term travel hacking? This is the mindset to “hack” your travel to get it as cheap as possible – usually by leveraging deals and points.
However, it’s hard to travel hack without doing some learning about how to travel for cheap. This could include shopping for trips, using points and miles, and more.
Check out our basic guide to college students and travel hacking. It’s a great starting point to save money on travel in college.
Open A Student Bank Account
Stowing your money under the mattress is the surest way to spend it when your resolve is weakest. By the same token, however, many bank accounts charge fees, like check-writing fees, and have minimum balance requirements that can eat away at your savings while it sits there, ostensibly “protected.”
The question, then, is how to get the benefits of financial security and, perhaps, even, the opportunity to grow your savings, without that protection costing you the very savings it’s meant to protect? The answer is student savings and checking accounts.Some banks and credit unions offer special student accounts that have no fees or lower fees and no minimum balances required. This allows you to protect your college savings from its biggest threat: your own spending. You may even find a student money-market account that pays you a small interest rate for your savings.If you’ve never had a bank account before, setting up a student account offers additional benefits in teaching you how to better track your money. The more you can keep track of your money coming in and going out, the more of it you can hold onto for future needs.
Learning to keep a check register and reading through your statements every month can help you to take better charge of your relationship with money now and forever after.
Consider Getting Professional Help To Pay For College
No matter where you are on the college savings journey, making sure youre in a financial position to save money for college is key. If you have credit card debt, you may want to consider , which can help you create a budget to start putting money away for your childs college education. A nonprofit credit counseling agency also could provide a debt management program, to reduce your debt and make saving easier.
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Make A Budgetand Stick To It
One of the most effective ways to plan your purchases and avoid impulse buys is to create a budget and, then, adhere to it. A budget is nothing fancy or complicated and not something to be intimidated by. It’s simply a list of your income from all sources and another list of all your expenses. Be completely honest when devising your budget, even if it hurts. Note down every single expense, including the ones you may be a little embarrassed about. You’re not trying to impress anyone with this exercise.
You’re trying to gain clarity on where all your money is coming from, where it’s going, and how to keep more of it in your pocket. By noting down every single expense, you can more easily identify areas where you can trim some of the fat, so to speak, and spend less in certain areas.
How many cable programs do you actually watch?
How much would you save if you made coffee at home and brought it with you in a to-go mug rather than buying that morning latte’?
Only by mapping out all your income and expenses, bar none, can you answer these sorts of questions. At the end of the day, your income should outweigh your expenses. If it doesn’t, you may need to do some adjusting, and your budget is the perfect tool to help you find the most appropriate adjustments to make.
And when you make your budget, don’t forget to include a line item under expenses for “College Savings.” Going by the previous tip, if you don’t plan for it, it may not happen.
Never Be Late On A Payment
Late fees not only cost you money, but then your underlying balance continues to grow as well. If you want to save money, never miss a payment. It’s as simple as that.
Each missed or late payment can cost you $30 or more . That’s a lot of money for a college student.
If you made a mistake, and want to see if you can get it back, check out a tool like Cushion. Cushion helps you find late fees and other bank charges, and helps you get them back . If having a late fee is a rare or one-time thing, Cushion can probably help. Check out Cushion here.
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Protect Your Security Deposit
Your security deposit is one of your biggest “investments” in college. You usually have to pay $1,000 or more to ensure you don’t mess up your apartment. That’s a lot of money that you can lose if you’re not careful in protecting your apartment.
So, make sure you protect your security deposit by keeping your apartment in great condition.
An alternative to your security deposit is using security deposit insurance. This is an alternative where you pay a company and never have to worry again. Check out Jetty for their security deposit insurance.
Open A 529 College Savings Account
A 529 plan allows you to contribute to a tax-advantaged investment fund toward covering your child’s future education costs. The funds contributed to a 529 account can be invested in a diverse range of securities, including stocks. Withdrawals from a 529 account are tax-free if you’re spending the funds on qualified education expenses. You can also see if your state offers tax breaks for 529 contributions.
Setting aside even just $10 a month can significantly impact the amount your family will pay for college. Our friends at the did the math. See the numbers for yourself here:
Treasurer Michael Frerichs
Roth Ira In The Grandchilds Name
Contributing to a Roth IRA that is owned by the grandchild is worth considering if the grandchild might not be going to college. It can give the grandchild a head start on saving for retirement. Annual contributions are limited to $6,000 in 2021, subject to income limits.
If the grandchild decides to go to college, the money in the Roth IRA will not be reported as an asset on the FAFSA. But distributions will count as income, including a tax-free return of contributions from the Roth IRA. It may be best to wait until after the grandchild graduates from college to use the money to pay down student loan debt.
Learn more about paying tuition with a Roth IRA > > >
Custodial Bank Or Brokerage Accounts
Custodial accounts, such as an UGMA or UTMA account, provide limited tax benefits. The first $2,200 in unearned income, such as interest, dividends and capital gains, is taxed at a lower tax rate than parent income under the Kiddie Tax rules. The first $1,100 is tax-free and the second $1,100 is at the childs tax rate.
Beyond this, the unearned income as taxed at the parents rate. But, these accounts are reported as a student asset on the FAFSA, which will reduce eligibility for need-based financial aid by 20% of the asset value. The grandchild also gains control over the account when they reach the age of majority. The money is not earmarked for college costs.
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Building Credit And Managing Savings
How Much To Save For College
A Sallie Mae study in 2019 found that more than half of parents are saving for their childrens college tuitions, but that the average savings will result in less than a years tuition when the child is ready for college.
The average cost in the U.S. for in-state state college tuition for the 2020-21 school year was $9,687 average cost for a private college was $35,087, with out-of-state tuition for public colleges falling about in the middle. Thats a slight drop from the previous decade, when college costs steadily increased 4%-5% a year, but the decrease is largely because of the coronavirus pandemic, and its expected to start ticking back up in coming years. Financial experts advise clients calculating how much theyll need to save to expect the sticker price tuition, room and board, and fees to rise by 5% a year.
The averages are just that averages. The top 50 most expensive colleges in the U.S. in 2020 had sticker prices above $74,000, with the most expensive the University of Chicago, which costs $85,531 a year to attend. Many of these top colleges also offer extensive financial aid, including need- and merit-based scholarships, that can cut the cost considerably. But no matter what the cost of the school, getting financial aid is less a sure thing than having money saved in the first place.
How much should be saved for college depends on factors that include when you start saving, what type of account you use and the school you expect your child to attend.
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Use Your Meal Plan In The Dining Hall
Going out to eat with friends is always enjoyable, but you need to remember that you have already paid for your meal plan in the dining hall. Whether you chose the most basic package or the most expensive, make sure you get your moneys worth out of it. Take advantage of not having to cook your own meals. You can still enjoy a dining hall meal with friends.
Try Downgrading Your Grocery Shop
If you find your weekly grocery shop is really eating into your student budget then theres a few ways you can make cutbacks. The number one tip is to move away from the branded products and towards the supermarkets own-brand items. In most cases you wont be able to taste the difference but you will see the difference on your receipt!
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Set A Goal For Saving
Maybe you feel its appropriate to commit to funding 50%, and letting your kids come up with the rest through part-time work, scholarships and grants, or student loans, says Eric Roberge, a CFP and founder of Beyond Your Hammock, a wealth management firm in Boston. This is an individual choice that is up to you and your family, and theres no wrong answer here.
The cost of college tuition is increasingly complex, so figuring out how much your childs tuition will be can be a challenge in itself even more so if youre trying to plan for how much college will cost in 10-15 years. Scholarships, federal aid, and what college your child attends will all impact what the final bill will be. The current average cost $35,720 per student at least offers a reference point in determining how much you aim to save.
Simple Ways To Start Saving For Your Child’s College Education
John Lowe of Money Doctors
If you think thats bad, just ponder on the cost of sending an American born son or daughter to Harvard in Boston Mass… $80,000 per term… 4 years – $960,000!
It is no wonder graduates in the US are now acclimatised to repaying their own student debt over the first ten years of their working lives. We are not quite there here in Ireland.
So how do cash strapped Irish parents provide for this necessary expense if we wish to see our children given the same opportunities parents themselves may have received?
For some families, there may be little left in the kitty to provide for their childrens education. Even if they are able to put away the monthly Child Benefit – 140 – from the time the child is born until their 18th birthday – it stops then – and if that accrued sum of money had a net return of 3% per annum, the total amassed would be just short of 42,000 the precise amount required for a childs 3rd level education without fees.
The vast majority of parents use the Child Benefit from day one for the purpose it is there to help financially support the family through the years. Also you cannot get 3% on ordinary deposit accounts now.
The important word when it comes to saving for your childrens future 3rd level financial requirements is START. So here are 3 ways to kickstart that 3rd level plan :
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ.
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Apply For A Scholarship
Scholarships can help significantly to cut down on the overall costs of college, and you’re not limited to only one. You can get and use as many scholarships as you can apply for and win, and there are practically as many types of scholarships out there as there are types of students.
What’s more, you don’t have to wait until you’re a college student, or even until you’ve been accepted to college, before you can start applying for them. Many scholarships, in fact, are specifically targeted toward high school students.Best of all, you don’t even have to be an academic genius to win a scholarship.
Organizations of all types, big and small, award scholarships to all sorts of students, for all sorts of reasons, including :
- Financial status
- Athleticism or other special talent or ability
- Extra-curricular interests or accomplishments
One way you can help even earlier in your high school career to make yourself eligible for the maximum scholarships available is to improve your grades as much as you can. Getting higher grades in your courses and on your standardized exams can help improve your eligibility for scholarships.Likewise, participate in some extracurricular activities, particularly ones that align with your interests or goals. This can open you up to a whole other range of potential scholarships based on more than academic criteria and can make your applications for even those scholarships more impressive.
A Practical Guide: The 5 Best Ways To Save For College
So you want to be proactive and save for college. Maybe youre a high school student who wants to build up a college fund for yourself, or maybe youre a parent or family member who wants to save for a young loved one. No matter your situation, youre taking a proactive step in making college a little bit more affordable.
In this post, Ill discuss the things you need to know in order to build, keep, and grow college savings. We’ll discuss the five best ways to save for college to lower student debt on graduation and take a load off your mind.
First, though, I’ll talk about the question you should be considering before you implement your savings plan: how much should you be putting away in the first place? Read on to find out!
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Why Should I Start Saving Now
Even if you think you’re too young to worry about savings, “you just have to take the plunge,” Jill Steinberg, managing director and partner at Beacon Pointe Advisors, says.
Saving early gives you a major leg up, especially due to the power of compound interest . Even with a low interest rate, your money grows over time. Someone who begins saving at 22 is in a much better position than someone who starts saving at 32 and tries to play catch-up.
“The earlier you start, the more financially successful you will be in the long term,” Steinberg says.
No Fee Student Credit Card
Starting to build your credit early just makes sense. And using credit responsibly is important. We are strong believers in getting a credit card, but treating it like a debit card.
Check out our list of the best student credit cards to find a card that matches your needs – with NO FEEs.
These cards are great because you can get rewards and rebates for your regular spending – a great way to save money in college.
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Creative Ways To Save Money In College
Saving money might seem like the last thing you want to do in college, but starting responsible spending habits early on can give you a financial head start.
Imagine being able to pay off your student loans or other debt and enter the job market debt free. Imagine starting your retirement savings early or letting your money grow in the stock market. Imagine having enough for a down payment on a house by the time you graduate! If you start saving early you can take full advantage of the compound interest that most retirement savings accounts and investments offer. Starting early allows you to accumulate wealth with less initial investment.
While college may come with a low income and tons of associated costs, saving money is doable with a little sacrifice and by being financially savvy. Its by no means easy, but making small changes to your lifestyle can reward you in dividends.