The following post is sponsored by One2One Network and ScholarShare. All opinions are 100% my own.
My daughter is in elementary school & while saving for her college education is a priority, my husband & I just haven’t had the time to research our options. Many of my mom friends are in the same boat, we know we should do it but the process seems overwhelming. Where do we start? How much do we put away? What if my kid ends up not going to college? These are all questions that many people have.
Well folks, I found a college savings plan that is fairly simple to enroll in & can be opened with as little as $25! ScholarShare is California’s 529 college savings plan. Just as a 401(k) plan is to retirement savings, a 529 college savings plan is for college savings.
Perhaps you’ve heard of ScholarShare 529, but did you know that:
- Anyone can open an account as a gift for a child or loved one.
- You can open an account while you are pregnant & simply change the beneficiary’s name after the baby is born.
- Funds can be used at eligible schools nationwide at both private and public universities.
- Withdrawals are federal & CA income tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses.
- Having a ScholarShare 529 does not affect scholarship or grant consideration.
- If your child decides not to go to college, you can change the beneficiary’s name to another child in your family – niece, nephew, grandchild, etc.
When it comes to the question of “how much do we put away” – just realize that every little bit counts. The advice that I was given is to start small & save what you can. Try saving $20-$30 a month for a year, then bump it up to $50 a month, gradually increasing over the years until you’ve found that “sweet spot” that you are comfortable with. I mean really, I know people who pay for monthly gym memberships that cost more than this, so putting away $20-50 per month should be feasible. 🙂
If your child is like my daughter, there are always a handful of relatives who give cash during holidays & birthdays. Wouldn’t it be nice to have them make a contribution through ScholarShare’s eGifting option to an existing account instead? You can even print out a gift certificate so that the child has something to open along with their birthday card. Another alternative is you can take the accumulated holiday/birthday money that your child receives, deposit half in their ScholarShare 529 account & then let the child spend the other half on games, toys & reading books. That’s a win-win in my book!
The reality is that so many students finish college with a huge college debt to pay back. Even if you can only save a little bit through a ScholarShare 529 plan, that is still a great start in the right direction!
For more information, click over to the ScholarShare website. You can also follow them on Facebook & Twitter.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from One2One Network and ScholarShare. All opinions remain my own.
We’ve been considering Scholarshare but it’s difficult to know what funds to choose. And if I pick poorly then could we actually lose money that we put in?
Jennifer Miyagishima says
ScholarShare offers 19 investment portfolios, giving account holders more options, depending on your savings goals & risk tolerance. You have the choice – if you want to be more conservative now & then change it up to something with more risk involved. I’d say consult with one of the ScholarShare counselors via conference call or webinar.
a. d. norton (@adeerLA) says
Thanks, I know about this but have been wondering about specifics, very informative!
Jennifer Miyagishima says
Thanks for checking out my blog post! Glad that I was able to provide some clarification for you.