Saving For College When you Have More than One Child


To get anywhere in life, most people require a college degree. Sure, there are those that never went to college, dropped out of college (here’s looking at you Bill Gates) or even went to college for one thing and ended up becoming successful in another who are just as wealthy, successful and happy as those who did obtain a very expensive piece of paper from a very expensive university. However, it’s not the norm to get too far in life without a college education. In fact, most jobs won’t even accept your application without a college education, and that’s just how it works for most. The worst news of all is that most of us with kids still have to pay for college, and it’s still light-years away – until you blink and then it will be tomorrow. For someone like me, for example, who has four kids – how am I supposed to save for college when the cost is astronomical and I have to start now? The answer is very simple, surprisingly, and it’s not something that people might be overly aware of. It is possible to save for college when you have multiple children; you just have to do it the right way from the start.

Certificates of Deposit

These are high-interest accounts that will pay off in the long run. They’re typically more beneficial if you use them on a long-term plan, so they could work for you and your needs right now. For example, if you choose to put your child’s college money into a long-term CD right now, you could see big additions to an account if you use a 5-year-plan and continue to do so until your children are ready to attend school. These are good accounts for those who have multiple kids because it does give you the freedom to save money as you go that can be used for college tuition when your kids grow up and need to go off to college. The best part is that this is your money to do with what you choose should your kids decide they are not on track for college.

529 Plans

These are great for those who have more than one child, because it allows you to save money for your child’s higher education with many tax breaks and even with other benefits. The limit you can contribute to this account tends to be on the high side, so that helps out when you have money you want to set aside for your kids. You can typically transfer money from one child to another child, too, if one doesn’t need funds for college or chooses not to go. The money, however, absolutely must be used for education-related expenses or it is subject to high tax penalties.

 Prepaid Tuition

The best and most affordable way to save for your children’s education is through a prepaid college tuition plan. You have to understand, however, that there are some serious stipulations associated with these accounts. For example, your child must go to an in-state college as the cost of out-of-state tuition is not covered. Additionally, some plans do not offer a refund on your contributions to those who do not go to school. The good news is that you can pay for your children’s college right now. You save now – locking in the current rate of tuition – and your kids get to go to school in 18 years at a big discount. This is a great way to save for kids, especially when you have more than one. You could potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses related to school this way depending on where your kids eventually choose to pursue their education and how many children you have at home.

Other Considerations

There is some debate about whether or not it is considered appropriate to pay for your kids’ college tuition or not. Some people believe that parents are not required to do this, and others believe that they are. Parents everywhere feel differently as a whole regarding the entire situation, and it’s for good reason. Some kids and some parents have an agreement. If they get good grades and scholarships, their parents will pay for the cost of their additional tuition. Others require that their kids get scholarships, or else they are responsible for getting student loans. It’s all very questionable what some parents consider acceptable and what they do not.

What you consider acceptable is up to you and your kids. There is no right or wrong way to go about paying for the tuition of your kids, but there are alternative ways that do not involve your own personal need to pay for everything by yourself. Your kids can get scholarships by making good grades and participating in sports and other endeavors. Your kids can also apply for student loans that cover the cost of their financial aid. There is always financial assistance available to those who cannot afford to pay for college on their own in the form of grants and other funding.

Right now you might not have to worry much about the fact that your kids are going to college one day, and how they are going to get there. Soon, however, you will have to worry about something like that. It’s never too early to learn as much as possible about your child’s college education, and it’s certainly never too early to start saving for this process. Your kids deserve the best from you, and you need to put their future in your hands right now. The best laid plans are those that have been considered and taken care of to a great degree, and you can help your kids with that by saving now. Additionally, back up plans and additional savings are always a good idea when it comes to your kids’ college education. Just remember that it’s never too late and start saving now; even if your kids are not old enough to go to college or not even born yet.

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