With the rising costs of college lately, it’s more important now than ever to start saving for your child’s future as early as possible. We are on track to have over $10,000 for each of our boys in their savings account by the time they each turn 18. We started this savings when each of them was born, so we got a good jump on saving. But if you have children who are still young, it shouldn’t take you too long to catch up.
Start Saving From Birth
Within a month after each of my boys was born, we started putting money away for each of them. Again, starting this early means it isn’t a huge amount every month, it’s little enough that we don’t miss the money, but it quickly starts to add up. Just like anything, the longer you stretch out the term of the payments, the lower the monthly payments are.
Open A Savings Account
Decide what bank you want to use, and open a youth savings account for your child. We’ve been using the same bank for years, and they offer youth accounts, meaning the accounts are in the boys names, but both my husband and I are listed as the guardians on the account. This way we still have full control over the account until we turn it over to them.
Save A Little Each Month
It really doesn’t take much. We have an automatic transfer set up to send $50 from our checking account into each of the boys savings accounts each month. So we are putting away $100 total each month, for 18 years. Multiply that out and it is over $10k by the time they reach 18. Right now, that’s what we are comfortable with. In the future, I hope to up that amount if we can to be able to give the boys a great start after high school.
Catch-Up If Needed
It took me a little longer to get everything set up with Tyler’s account because I didn’t think about it right away. He was 3 months old by the time we decided to do this, so I opened his account with $150 to catch it up to where it should have been. If your child is a couple years old, and you want to catch up but can’t put it in all at once, just add up what they would have by now, and separate that out over a few months. Do what you need to do to get them caught up.
There have been times that we’ve had family ask what the boys want/need for birthdays or Christmas, and we tell them that they are pretty well set. So instead of buying another toy to add to the way-too-many the boys already have, they will send them a check. We deposit these checks straight into their individual savings accounts since it is their money.
After High School
Our goal with this money is that we have a great start for college tuition for the boys. But it’s not only for college. One or both of them may decide that college is not for them, and not what they need for whatever they want to do. This money is theirs. If they go to college, it will go towards tuition, if not, then it’s a great start for a first home, a car if they need one, etc.
It’s always important to save for the future. Putting away a little money every month now can add up to huge amounts in the long run!