Еalking to someone at your bank about investments
I’ve noticed that a couple of people mentioned talking to someone at your bank about investments and I’d urge you strongly to avoid your bank for any kind of investing information. Banks are notorious for having expensive products which under perform the market and are best avoided for everything but banking.
If you join Upromise (and why wouldn’t you, it’s free money for college) you’ll be able to connect it to a 529 plan in your state or one through a good provider like Vanguard. This would be a better option than a bank. And if you decide to not join upromise, almost every major brokerage will offer a 529 account.
Also, to those who don’t have kids but may some day or for those who have student loans you’re paying off, Upromise money can be used towards existing loans, it can be saved and transferred to a child later or, it can be distributed quarterly as cash.
My daughters are 1 week, 18 months, and 2-10 year olds. For many birthdays and Christmas we have bought items at dollar general. They know we do not have much to spare. We are figuring about $400 for Christmas $300 for our own family and $100 for niece/nephews total.
My older 2 are homeschooled and when they are juniors/seniors they will be able to take some free college classes. One daughter is interested in nursing, the other in respiratory therapy. Both programs are available at our local community colleges (not that they won’t change their minds). Each credit is $100. 10 years ago it was $90 so I do not expect it to go up too much. My husband and I were responsible for paying our own way or finding a way. In my mind I think we will pay for 2 years community college while they stay at home/work PT (while they will pay for books for those first 2 years.) The last 2 years they will be responsible for tuition, we will pay for housing and books.
We are just trying to dig ourselves out of debt and enjoy our family and let go of worries assosiated with money. We are taking small steps to pay off the smallest debt off first, while trying to start investing for the future, even if it is a small amount.
- We owe $150,000 student loans
- $80,000 home loan
- $17,000 credit cards
- $7,000 car loan
- $2,000 misc.
But starting with your bank gives you some info about what sort of things are available. There’s also the public library. For college funds you could also try asking people at the schools. My bank offers good options and the cost isn’t all that different from what I’d pay other places, sometimes cheaper and sometimes not. Also, one benefit of using your own bank is that everything is right there in one place. With my Christmas Club every week money is automatically switched from my checking account into it. I get a better interest rate and don’t have to remember to make that deposit.
Read more about Christmas Club on BankRate.com.