We do a lot of entertaining at Sugar and Charm, but something that’s an important part of home economics is management of the family, so I’m excited we teamed up with ScholarShare 529 to spread the word about the importance of saving for college! Saving for the boys’ college education is a number one priority in our home. And to be honest, my kids don’t have an option, haha!! College is pretty much going to be a requirement unless they end up becoming self-made millionaires by the age of 18. Since I’m requiring them to go to school (hehe), I want to make sure we’re able to give them the education they deserve, without the monstrous debt! No one wants to start their lives and career in debt! So I’ve made it a goal to save as much as possible for the boys’ school. One of the ways we’re doing this is through a California Scholar 529 savings plan.
Since Zan and I both run our own businesses, we’re also responsible for both retirement and college savings. We each have an IRA we contribute to every year and the ScholarShare 529 is similar, investing in mutual funds and other investments. The earnings are free from federal income tax (yay!) and your contributions are reinvested automatically so your account can grow. There are no application, sales or maintenance fees either so it’s affordable for anyone on a modest budget.
You’re also able to use the funds for more than just tuition. They can be used for books, rent at any accredited colleges or universities in the US and even certain colleges abroad or higher education and trade schools.
Here are 4 ways we use ScholarShare to save for Romeo’s and Monroe’s education!
1. We do an automatic transfer every month to each of their accounts. At the end of the year we’ll make a lump sum contribution.
2. One of the best ways to help grow their savings is involving our family and friends in saving for college too. This is by far my favorite aspect of the savings program. You can create an invitation, add the occasion and send via email. Then they can make contributions through the link that go into their accounts! I love this idea in lieu of toys! Sending those links out for Christmas and birthdays makes me happy!
3. Another way to save is involving Romeo and teaching him to save by himself! Romeo has a piggy bank where he saves his allowance and any cash or change he gets (or finds!) during the year. When it’s filled up, he’s allowed to open it. We take 20% of that and put it in his 529 account. 10% he has to give to charity and then he gets to go to the store to buy a little toy.
4. We also determine our risk tolerance. You’re able to choose if you want a passive, moderate or aggressive strategy. This is totally up to you and ultimately how the market plays out over the 18 years. Personally I’m a very moderate person when it comes to savings. Zan is opposite and thinks he’s Warren Buffet sometimes! I like a little risk, but not too much where I lose everything because who wants that?! I love that you’re able to choose and decide for yourself how you want to invest.
I know there are always a million questions about this stuff! Please check out their site to find out more and consider opening an account for your kiddo! It took me about 20 mins total for both kids! We’ll be sharing some more on this in the next couple of months and I plan on hosting a brunch for some of my mama friends to learn more too. It’s just such an important part of the family we overlook sometimes! Stay charming!
This post is in collaboration with ScholarShare 529