|saving and spending (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)|
Can You Afford Your Children's Education?
It's best to start saving as soon as possible to ensure that the children in the family are going to have a university savings account that is going to get them through their education but this isn't always the case.
Consider the costs of the tuition, the supplementary income that the child can contribute while they're going to school and working part time. It's important to assess the budget and determine the monthly amount that can be allocated to the child's university costs. If more than one children are attending university, it's important to consider the costs and how they are going to be divided.
For parents with school aged children and no savings for post-secondary education, consider where you can cut corners now to build the education savings account for future use. Research grants and other types of funding options that can supplement parent savings.
University Costs -- Not Just Tuition
University education is more than the costs that come with tuition. Additional fees through the university include admission fees, administration fees, fees for books and laboratory time and extracurricular and transportation fees. In addition to the fees that are charged to the student for attending school, students attending university outside of their hometown are charged for room and board while staying on campus and additional living costs if they choose to live off of campus.
How to Increase Education Savings
Saving early is the best way to get a head start on university costs. For families putting multiple children through university, the costs can add up quickly. Establishing a finance savings program early in life is an effective way for families to assist in the cost of the child's education.
Starting early is easier when a savings program is established and automatic debits are set-up from the account. Choosing the debits at the same time every month and paying yourself first can help to boost these savings.
Take advantage of the grant programs that are available through government programs. These programs contribute a percentage of the amount that has been deposited by the parents into the education savings account. Research the programs to determine the eligibility of the family and determine how to best use the program. Starting early will ensure that you're able to maximize this program as much as possible.
Budget. Find ways to cut the costs of the household finance expenses to find additional room to put away into a monthly savings or education investment account. Something as simple as taking your lunch, or cutting the cable or vacation fund can help to establish and cushion the savings account for post-secondary school.
Ask for help and enlist the students that are going to be attending university to take on part time jobs to help cover the costs of the additional education. In addition to part time income, ask children to research scholarships and grants that are available or determine the loan options available to cover a percentage of the tuition for school.
Finally, consider the options of a local university -- rather than the children attending school in another city or state. Attending a local university can help to save money, as students are able to live at home while attending school, cutting the costs of living expenses and allowing more money to be allocated towards tuition.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he offer financial tips to college students and aims to encourage further study through ACU Higher Education Degrees Online.