Award-winning financial strategist, advisor, and father, Ruben Ruiz, knows a thing or two about saving for college.
The following are the most important tips he says to follow in order to save for college.
1. Planning - This is the secret. If you don’t do this one, then there is no need for the other nine tips, because nothing will happen. More than 90 percent of parents want their kids to go to college, but they simply don’t plan, because it’s boring and it’s easily put off until tomorrow or five years from now, they wait for the counselors to tell them what to do…
To make things less overwhelming, start with this: dedicate one hour a year from age 0 to age 5, one hour every three months from age 6 to 10, one hour a month from age 11 to 16, one hour a week from age 16 (or a junior in high school) till enrolled and college is paid.
2. Set up a savings account - Start putting in $25, $50, $100, or 1 percent or 3 percent of your monthly income away. What’s important is to save monthly and create a savings habit.
3. Select other savings accounts - Choose from 529 plans, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance, and cash value plans.
4. Set up an income/expense cash flow - Keep track of where your money is going for the household, every month.
5. Create a college monthly income/expense projection - Estimate the cost of college once a year, until child enrolls.
6. Create a balance sheet - Do this for the whole family, as well as one for college.
7. Get an advisor - Find a financial planner to be your mentor and follow their advice.
8. Don’t give up - If your start asking yourself why you are doing this for college planning, it is very simply you have never done it before, so how do you know it doesn’t work—-just stay the college goals course. It will come to you when you do the planning.
9. Be supportive - Work on helping your child to be a good student, in GPA, rank, and study habits.
10. Teach your child to plan ahead - Help your child get a part-time job while in high school, as well as how to fit their school time, work time, social life time, and their spiritual, physical, eating and sleeping time, into a 24-hour plan, 365 days a year. The more they have a set plan to do something, whether it be go to school, study, eat, hang out, work, pray, the better habits they create. This will help them when they do enroll in college, and start the process of transforming themselves from a child to an adult. When they graduate, they are now ready to tackle the world.