For students and parents, saving for college can feel overwhelming. With the average college student graduating with $27,000 in debt, socking away just a little each month now can help reduce post-college debt later. Saving just $5 a day for 10 years will add $19,000 to your savings.
September is College Savings Month and the perfect opportunity to investigate and spend a little time updating or starting a college savings plan. College Savings Month is a national campaign focused on helping people learn more about saving for future college education needs and encouraging parents, friends and family members to start saving now.
There are several wireless apps that can help families start planning their savings strategy. TIAA-CREF, a national financial services organization, offers College Savings Planner to help students and parents create and keep track of college savings goals. Mint.com keeps up with the details of your savings accounts, tracking performance on a daily basis and notifying account owners when money has been deposited into the account. College Save uses a moving indicator widget to help tweak estimates for future college costs, personal investment return, monthly savings and inflation rate. The widget quickly shows users whether they'll have a shortfall in college savings as well as how much they need to start saving now to make up the difference.
When thinking about reducing college costs, families shouldn’t overlook scholarships. Using the Scholly app, students can enter information then receive a list a targeted list of available scholarships for their consideration.
Forty states across the country have joined the College Savings Plan Network and are holding activities and educational campaigns throughout the month to raise awareness of the importance of saving for college. Visit the College Savings Plan Network website and click on My State’s Plan to find out more about what each state is doing this month to educate the public regarding college savings and how you can participate.
It’s never too early to start saving.