Nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to have children. No, having a pet beforehand doesn’t qualify… sorry. The worry, the lack of sleep, the things that you have to think about, from the type of diaper you want to use, to them getting their drivers license (god help us all).
The hardest thing to think about, when you hold that squalling bundle for the very first time, is what’s going to happen in 18 years when that kid goes to college. And more importantly how expensive it’s going to be. Today, college tuition, with room, board and books, in a public, in-state institution is approximately 19 thousand dollars.
* Faints to the floor *
Even if they manage to get through college in four years that’s EIGHTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. And I have TWO KIDS!
This seriously is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. Because I gave birth to the Big Kid and then woke up one morning to find that he was five. And holy cow we had NOT been preparing his college fund yet… because that’s like 12 years away, right?
WRONG. Parenting FAIL.
After doing some research on California programs, I realized that the way to go was a 529C. And more specifically, ScholarShare.
ScholarShare is California’s 529 College Savings Plan, a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged investment vehicle designed to help and encourage families to save for future qualified higher education expenses. It’s great, it’s easy and there are no management fees or income limits.
People can also open accounts for your children (coughcoughgrandparents) or make deposits directly into their ScholarShare account… hrmmm, maybe we could start doing that instead of being inundated with toys after Christmas??
The best part is that if you open your ScholarShare account on May 29th,(from 12:01am to 11:59pm) (529 get it??), ScholarShare will match up to $50 in their “You Start It, We Match It” promotion! (There is a limit of one matching deposit per new ScholarShare account opened for a new beneficiary.)
To be eligible for ScholarShare’s matching promotion, California families will need to:
- Open a new ScholarShare College Savings Plan with an initial deposit of at least $50 – to be contributed and invested at the time the new account is opened.
- Enroll in the automatic contribution plan (ACP) for the new account with at least a $25 contribution per month.
That’s FREE MONEY! And in a world where nothing is free, or even CLOSE to free, free money is awesome!
Preparing your kids to pack up and leave for college when they are just learning how to walk is a scary and daunting process. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, ScholarShare is going to make it as easy as possible, so that you can stress about everything else in their lives.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of ScholarShare. I received compensation but all opinions are my own, and all my proceeds are going into my kids college fund. Because college is expensive, yo.