The school year has officially begun! Whether your children or grandchildren are heading into school for the first time, heading to college for the first time, and everything in between, it’s important to keep in mind that this is also a first time for parents. How should you continue to budget and ensure your children or grandchildren are ready for the next year to begin again?  How do we ensure we are spending and saving strategically?

For kiddos heading into the elementary level of education, be sure to consider these tips to help with the financial burden that comes with this time of year.

Paying for K–12 Educational Expenses

This is a year-round activity.  The best time to start is now, and it’s best to begin thinking about next year in your planning also, as you know it is sure to happen - start now.

  • First, create a budget and savings plan as soon as possible, and stick to it!
    • Plan for all potential costs ranging from school supplies, clothing and even school activities. Budgeting and saving go hand in hand for these expenses.
    • Short-term and long-term budgeting and saving will help keep you and your children on track for the current school year, and the educational years ahead.
  • Research any assistance options. 
    • Some school districts award grants to parents who opt to place their kids in private schools or even home school.  Assistance can be granted from in the form of anything from supplies to uniforms in most cases.
  • Use your credit card responsibly. 
    • MOST IMPORTANTLY - pay off the balance every month so you don’t incur interest charges.
      • One option is using a rewards credit card to help you make reasonable purchases like new band equipment or school supplies. You may be able to earn reward points, score cash back or air miles when paying for minor new school year expenses.

Funding a College Education

Saving for higher education costs can be rewarding as well, and here’s how:

  • Start a savings plan NOW.  529 plans have tax benefits to make saving easier.  Talk to your financial advisor to find out all the advantages of 529 plans.
  • Completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which will help you understand what your student can qualify for including Pell Grants and other financial aid. 
  • You can also consider federal and private loans that support the specific needs of your child’s education.  Researching these options could prove beneficial when providing for the education as well as watching your bottom line. 
  • And finally, talk to the school’s financial aid department.  It is likely there are options and resources that can support this heavy price tag supporting your child’s future educational needs.

If you have questions or don’t know where to begin, I would be happy to sit with you and discuss together, your short-term and long-term financial education savings goals. 

Jennifer M. Snyder

Financial Advisor

E-Mail: jsnyder@brightonsecurities.com

Direct: 585.340.2207

 

 

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