My son is turning 14 next month, and next year he will start high school. While he’s still a little boy in so many ways, I know the next four years are going to fly and the next thing I know we’re going to be applying to colleges.
Have you priced out college tuition lately? I wouldn’t advise it. It’s a fast track to a heart attack.
I admit, I’ve been living in denial. It seems so far away, and frankly, I cannot imagine how we will ever afford it without taking out a second mortgage. The traditional 4-year college experience is something I’ve always assumed my kids will have, but I’m beginning to realize that if I’m going to provide that for them, we need to start saving stat.
Recently I’ve discovered Gradsave, a web app that helps parents-to-be crowdfund their child’s 529 savings account amongst family and friends.
Instead of another toy or another blanket or another gift that will get old or break, friends and family can help with college tuition (which will probably be upwards of $200k in 15 years). CLUNK!!!!
Donations can be one time or recurring (i.e., grandma wants to give $10/mo for 10 years). And? Gradsave is free to use!
I love this idea. People are always asking me what to give my kids for birthdays and Christmases, and frankly, they have so much. This is a great way for them to help contribute to our future college tuitions while giving a meaningful gift.
Here are some (scary) stats to consider.
- The cost of college is increasing at 8% annually, but wages are rising at only 2%. That’s a big gap, and all evidence indicates it will continue to grow.
- College tuition has increased over 500% since 1985 and shows no signs of slowing down.
- According to the College Board, a “moderate” college budget for an in-state college for the 2012-2013 school year averaged $22,261. Nudge that number up to $43,289 for a private education.
- Some basic numbers: just $100 per month contributed to a Gradsave.com registry, with compounding interest, will yield nearly $43,000 by the time a child born today is ready for college.
So far, Gradsave.com has helped nearly 10,000 families start saving for college.
This Halloween season, in partnership with Simon Malls, Gradsave is giving away half a million dollars in college savings. At approximately 100 Simon malls across the country, trick-or-treaters and their parents will each get a $10 Gradsave giftcard to get started out on the right foot, saving for college. $10 is just a drop in the bucket, but by the time a 6-year-old is of college age, just think what $10 in a 529 College Savings Account will grow up to be—even with conservative 6% compound interest. Put another way: $100 a month for 18 years for a child just born today, would yield about $43,000.
Here’s a coupon to get started!
I was not compensated for this post.