Fidelity also has a great free calculator that allows you to determine how much your need specifically for your situation. They leverage many of the same assumptions we do above, and agree that you don’t need to save 100% of your child’s college education expenses. Check out their college savings calculator here.
You might also find this 529 plan contribution limit guide helpful.
Recommendations To Help Save For College
Even saving just $100 per month can seem like daunting task. I know it is for me. However, when it comes to saving for college, here are some simple tricks that can help:
1. Save all of your child’s birthday and holiday money. In many families, kids receive money from their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and more. I would estimate that the average kid receives at least $200 per year in gift money. If you saved that, you’re 20% of the way to fulfilling their annual 529 contribution.
A great way to do this is to use a service like Backer. Backer makes 529 plan gifting so easy – so you can both save for your children or help a friend or family member save as well.
2. Look at Upromise. This is a free service that is designed to help families pay for college by simply doing their normal shopping. Upromise offers cash back rewards for linking a credit or debit card and using that card at participating retailers. You can earn anywhere from 1% to 25% back at different retailers. Upromise says that some members are earning at least $1,000 per year – that’s almost everything you need to fully fund a 529 plan. Plus, right now you can get a $25 bonus if you link your 529 plan within 30 days of signing up! UPromise is easy to sign up and save for college – check it out here.
3. Focus on earning more money. Instead of looking at where to cut in your budget, ask yourself, how can you add $100 in income to your budget? I’m a firm believer that anyone can earn an additional $100 per month, and what a better way to put that extra $100 to use than by funding a 529 plan for your child? If you don’t know where to start, check out our list of over 50 ways to earn extra money on the side.