As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, the expectations of me going to college were never high. Thanks to my awesome teachers throughout my school years, the idea of college became a seed that grew into a goal and I found myself being the first person in my family to go to college. It was a big deal. I graduated with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship while working full time because my parents didn’t save up any money for me to pay for college. Fast forward to now where my kids, ages eight and four, already have college plans on their own. Going to college is something that I expect from my kids, but unlike my situation, I have already taken steps to helping them pay for college via a 529 college savings account, and through my partnership with ScholarShare, I get to share how they can help you do the same too.
Opening a 529 college savings account is super easy. It takes just $25 to open and you can contribute as much, or as little, as you want throughout the child’s life. We have ours set up so that $25 is deducted each month for each kid automatically from our checkings account. It’s not a huge amount that we’re contributing to it because when we started the plan we were strapped for cash month after month. Now that we’re a bit more settled down, we’ll change it to contribute a bit more.
I think it’s so important for every family to have a college savings plan for their kids, and so does ScholarShare. They’ve been committed to helping families get started and this year, they’re hosting free “Start Small. Dream Big.” events throughout California in an effort for families to learn more about opening up a 529 college savings account.
The first “Start Small. Dream Big.” event was held last Saturday at the Westfield Santa Anita. My bestie, Jill of PopsicleBlog.com and I went to check it out and share pictures and updates via social media. We had no problem finding it because there were so many people surrounding the area that featured an oversized puzzle, face painting, a cookies and milk station, coloring tables and spots to sign up for a chance to win a piece to the puzzle. Each puzzle piece was worth at least $50 towards a ScholarShare 529 college savings account – and ScholarShare gave away $10,000 at the each event!
The event was a friendly reminder that it all starts with small steps that can build momentum over time. Each ScholarShare 529 college savings account takes just $25 to start, and the whole familia can contribute to it. I’ve also found that contributions to a kid’s college savings account also make great gifts, I mean, how many toys does a kid really need?
Saving up for college is definitely a family activity. Account updates are mailed and you can see right on there just how much your account has gained (or lost). In 2009-2010, our account didn’t grow so much, but nowadays, it’s killing it on the market. I don’t worry too much how much it’s making right now because the kids are so young so we’re in it for the long-haul.