Saving for college

July 23, 2012 1:10:40 PM PDT
It's never too late or too early to begin planning for college. Whether you have a student heading off to school in the fall, next year, or several years from now parents should know the steps to proper planning.

Cliff Morgan, founder of College Planning Partners offers some advice.

July 31, 7PM
DePaul University, O'Hare Campus
8770 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Rm #205

Workshop link:

Call (312) 267-1130 for more information.

Cliff Morgan's Top 4 Tips:

Step #1: Determine how much you're going to owe.
The best way to estimate how much college is going to cost is to use a college cost projector calculator. There is a great one available to you for free here:

Step #2: Determine how much you can comfortably set aside each month.
Here is a link to a good budget sheet you can use:

Step #3: Compare available college savings plans.
Now that you know how much you need and how much you're going to save on a consistent basis, it's time to make a decision on where you want to put it. Some options: 529 plans, Money market and bank savings accounts, Treasury Bills, Bonds including Tax-Free Muni's and Bond Funds, Cash Value Life Insurance, Choose your college savings plan wisely.

Step #4: Monitor your college savings plan on regularly scheduled basis.
This one is pretty clear-cut. A quarterly, semi-annual, or annual look at how your college savings plan is performing is a good idea. Consistently asking yourself, "am I making progress with this account?" And, "do I need to make adjustments to it?" Will keep you on track.