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How to Save Money for College

Thank you to Ohio’s 529 for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own 🙂

Although I know it sounds crazy, but #BeforeWeKnowIt, Nic and I will be sending Ava + Ellie off to college! Ava is nearly 14 years away from this and when I think back on the last 14 years of my life, it honestly doesn’t seem like it was that long ago!

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Since recently paying off our own student loans, Nic and I have really started our plan for college savings for the girls. It was overwhelming at first but we feel relieved to have at least started the college saving process.

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You may have heard of a 529 plan, but if you’re like me before we started the college savings process, you have not. Basically, a 529 plan is a college savings plan that offers tax benefits. Ohio’s 529 plan is CollegeAdvantage.

Some quick facts about 529 plans: 529 plans aren’t just for 4-year programs (someone pursuing cosmetology could apply 529 funds to expenses). Also, it’s great to know that Ohio’s 529 plan can be used nationwide. Plus, 529 plan withdrawals are tax free when used for higher education expenses.

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I LOVE the tools that Ohio’s 529 has on their website – they are SO helpful in the planning process. They have a College Savings Planner, so you can see how much you really should be saving per child. You simply
input your college funding goals, examine your total projected costs, and estimate the monthly amount needed to meet your objective.

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Ohio’s 529 also offers a Cost of Waiting Tool. This tool allows you to take a look at how much more you’ll need to save if you wait longer to start saving.

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The Ohio’s 529 blog has tons of information about saving for college and saving, in general. I love the idea of directing family members that want to provide gifts for your children to the 529 savings plan. Ohio’s 529 has a straightforward system where anyone that wants to contribute to the plan, can, via logging into the account.

If you’re not sure where to start, even small 529 plan deposits can grow through the power of compound interests, tax-free earning, and tax-free withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses. I personally am a fan of automatic contributions so we don’t ever see that money in our account. I also LOVE the idea of redirecting daycare costs to college savings, once our girls are in school.

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Ohio’s 529 has graciously offered one lucky Girl About Columbus reader to win a $250 contribution to open a 529 plan! Woohoo! Head over to my Instagram to the details on how to enter to win.

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