Tracking PixelThis post is sponsored by Virginia529.  All opinions are my own.

It’s happening people! Sophia is a senior in high school, and we are having very real conversations now about her going to college. It’s scary and exciting for both her and us, and also nerve wracking to think about how college tuition will be paid. (Hint: it’s not cheap to put your kid through college). We’ve been looking for ways to save for college tuition since our girls were babies. We’re so fortunate that friends suggested we look at investing in an Invest529 college savings account way back then.

So here we are, passing this good advice on to you. Whether you’re able to put away $5, $500 or $5,000 in a college savings plan, start now. It’s not too early and it’s not too late to begin squirreling away those coins. You’ll be happy you did, and so will your college-bound kid(s).

students entering Arizona State University welcome center

Saving for College with Invest529

I’m sure we speak for most parents in stating we don’t wish for our kids to be saddled with enormous college loan debts to repay later. It’s a burden we’d like to protect our kids from carrying, and there are ways to lighten their load. Regardless of your means or income, college tuition and other expenses require a huge stack of money. And who doesn’t want their kids to have the best opportunities in education they can possibly attain?

Because our friends suggested it, we started saving for our daughters’ college costs when they were just babies. For each of them, we opened an Invest529 savings account in their names. We’ve been depositing money monthly into these accounts ever since, sometimes a little and sometimes more depending on our own cashflow circumstances.

How Does an Invest529 Savings Account Work?

Opening an Invest529 in your child’s name allows you to save money for their college costs in a tax-advantaged account. The money accrues interest in the account while it waits for your kid to use it, and those increases in value are not taxable. Invest529 is administered by Virginia529, the nation’s largest 529 plan. But this is a national program open to all families.

When your kid is ready to use the money, he/she can make payments from the Invest529 fund toward any kind of education. The money can pay for four-year college, community college, trade schools, job training programs and more.

College Costs in the Olden Days

Back in the day when I (Jon) went to college, my parents wrote a check. It was extremely difficult for them to spend that money from their limited incomes for my college tuition and expenses, but they did it. One of the reasons this could work back then is that costs were relatively low. I think my college tuition and expenses were roughly $10,000 per year, which was no small potatoes back then.

Triton put himself through art school and got a bachelor’s degree by waiting tables and pacing his education past the expected four years. His parents did not participate in paying for any of his expenses, and it was possible for him to graduate with the help of elbow grease and student loans.

Today’s College Tuition Costs

We are literally going through this right now, and it’s downright scary how expensive college can be. The costs have risen exponentially since we were kids. According to a recent US News & World Report study, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2019–2020 school year was $41,426 at private colleges, $11,260 for state residents at public colleges and $27,120 for out-of-state students at state schools.

That’s a lot of coins to stack.

$1000 College Savings Sweepstakes

Virginia529 is sponsoring a sweepstakes of a $1000 contribution to a new or existing Invest529 account. The Sweepstakes began November 12, 2019 and ends December 18, 2019 (Sweepstakes Term). During the Sweepstakes Term there is one way to enter: Online by visiting here during the Sweepstakes Term, completing the online entry form and submitting it to receive one (1) entry into the Sweepstakes.

Take Our Advice – Start Now!

By no means have we saved all the money needed to pay for Sophia and Ava’s college schooling, but we’ve gotten pretty far. By diligently putting money into each of their Invest529 accounts since they were babies, we’ve amassed a good amount for each daughter.

It’s very easy to open an Invest529 account online, and the website can walk you through the logistics in very simple terms. Not only will the amount you deposit grow in value, but it will yield interest-free results when your kid(s) is ready to use it.

We sure like the sound of that! Especially now, as we prepare to send Sophia off into the great blue yonder, we’re thankful for whatever help we can get.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Virginia529.