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Want to sock away money for college, but are on a tight budget? Here are the best ways to start and grow your kid's college fund!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info.
If you're a parent, helping your kids to avoid or minimize college debt is a big concern.
The good news is time can be a huge ally.
Let's say you have a little one who's starting in kindergarten.
Using CollegeBacker's calculator, I ran the numbers for a family with a 5-year-old. If you contribute $100/month, you could have over $25,000!
Finding the Money for College
The challenge for many couples?
Finding the the money to contribute towards your kid's college fund!
With a full plate of bills and not much free time, it can seem impossible.
It doesn't have to be that way.
During the workshop on saving for college, we went over ways you can start contributing, even if you have a tight budget.
Today I'll share ideas on how you can find, save, and make money. We used many of these when we were working to pay our car loan off early.
4 Bigs Wins on Your Bills
- Unbundling Your Entertainment: One significant way we saved without losing out on fun is skipping on the bundle with our cable company. Today there are several great options that can help you see the shows you want without the big price tag.
- Get Smarter with Your Smartphone Plans: I love my smartphone; it's an incredible tool that I use almost every day. I don't, however, want to pay an arm and a leg for it. There are some awesome alternatives to the big carriers such as Republic Wireless, Ting, that will give you the service and phones you love without the high price tag. If you're not a big smartphone user, Freedompop has some incredible deals too!
- Comparison Shopping with Insurance: Shopping around for insurance is fun, but it can save you big bucks. We've been able to knock down our premiums by about half when we switched providers.
- Save Big on Kids' Clothes: If your little ones are growing like weeds, chances are a chunk of your monthly budget is going to keep them dressed. Save some serious cash on consignment sites like thredUp. Grab high-quality clothes for your kids at ridiculously low prices.
Once you save that money make sure you go ahead and schedule a transfer towards your kid's college fund.
This is will not only keep you on track, but it'll also save you time.
Earn Money on the Side
While some parents found taking a temporary or side job the right solution for them, those aren't your options.
- Sell your stuff: Clean out your place and earn some extra cash by selling your gently used stuff. Yard sales and Craigslist can be smart local options, but if you're pressed for time and would love to ship it away in one swoop, Decluttr can help with your DVDs, CDs, games, books, Blu-rays & .
- Work as a Tutor: The great thing about tutoring on the side is that you can make a decent amount of money with just 4-5 hours a week. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship- someone gets help on a subject and you get some extra income. I share some tips on how to maximize your earning here.
- Start a Micro Side Hustle: Only have a couple of hours per week to earn some cash? Try options like Fiverr and freelance from home.
Making College Savings Easier
If you're looking to start saving for your kid's college fund, please check out CollegeBacker.
You can open a 529 College Savings Plan in about 10 minutes!
They work with you to figure out the details and you can invite family and friends to help you save.
And they're offering a sweet bonus – they will match your first $25 contribution to everyone who signs up!
Grandparents asking what to get for the kids? Their contribution can count for that bonus!
Take advantage of this deal and start saving for your kid's college fun now!
Want to Save More Money?
Are you looking for more ideas on how to save more money? We offer a free week-long course – 5 Days to $5K – that takes you through how you fins, save, and make extra money on the side.
This post was originally published November 2017. Updated August 2018