If you have young kids, you can be forgiven for thinking that college is ages away and asking why should you worry about it now?
When you are raising a family, your financial position may only allow you to save for short term events and life’s surprises instead of thinking in the long-term but as college fees are so expensive, every family should try and put something away each month when their kiddies are young.
Budgeting for college early will save the worry later when the kids are 16/17 years old and you are faced with four (or more years) of college which means quite a lot of money.
The other problem is that parents are often faced with the decision to save for their pension and retirement or for their children’s education.
It is fair to say only a small amount of people can save for everything as advised by financial advisors as their salary will not spread that far.
Unfortunately, a lot of parents are deciding that their child’s education takes preference and therefore are saving for college education instead of their pension and retirement fund.
Each situation is different, and it is good to seek professional advice when saving for college and if you are trying to save for retirement, then you should speak to someone who has experience in this area.
They will advise how you can make the most of your money and consider your personal position instead of just an overview of it.
If your child gets to secondary school and you haven’t put any money away for their college years it isn’t the end of the world but now is definitely the time to make the effort to do so.
Secondary school is in itself incredibly expensive and if you have more than one child you will find education expenses a huge part of your life.
Parents may choose to put away the children's benefit from the time their child is born but for a lot of parents, this isn’t possible with other things to pay for.
If you are saving, make sure you talk to your bank or building society about the different types of savings accounts and go for one that offers the best terms and conditions depending on what you are looking for.
Often parents pick the first one, but you need to spend time doing this. Do your research and find out how much money you will need to send your child to college as some kids may have to stay in student accommodation which adds a huge amount of expense to parents who are already struggling to pay the college fees.
The kids will grow up and while you may not consider budgeting for college as a priority right now, it will benefit you in the long-term if you start saving now as there are no problems when saving early. The early bird catches the worm!
Make it a part of your weekly/monthly budget and even if it is the smallest amount of money it all adds up instead of having an empty pot at the beginning of what will be the most expensive time of your child’s life.