On the 26th of each month for the past five years, I have slowly sold my soul to Sallie Mae to pay my student loans. Someone (I'm not naming names) told me, "Take out as much as you need! You'll just pay like $50 a month for 30 years." Hm, that was a farce.
Don't get me wrong - I encourage everyone to go to college, but the cost is explosive. My parents and I had an agreement - I paid my tuition, they paid for my living expenses. This way, if I failed a class - it was my financial responsibility to make it up the second time around. Needless to say, I made sure that never happened!
I sometimes cringe when I see that ACH withdraw of $300 - but then I think about what I could do to prevent my sweet little boy from going through the same thing. I found out about Virginia 529 from my parents when I was in high school. They had a small savings set aside to help me with college expenses. I decided when Brennan was born that I'd try to save as much as I could for his college - and the Virginia 529 inVESTment was a no-brainer.
I am by NO MEANS a financial advisor or someone who is qualified to give financial advice. But, as a parent, I wanted to do what I could to lessen the burden for my child. I set up B's account when he was 6 months old and I put $15 a week in it. (I figure that's one trip through the Chikfila drive-thru that I can live without!) His dad puts in $50/month. We deposit everything he receives: birthday, Christmas, Easter, just because we love you money, anything! He'll be 5 in August and we already have put away close to $7,000 for his future. It really adds up. The savings plans have tax-advantages and they also grow with market performance.
Next time you spend $15 or $25 on a gift for a birthday party or making your child's Easter Basket - think of how far that money will go into a college fund...
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.