Growing up my parents always taught us, pay yourself first. Meaning, instead of accumulating debt, when you get money – pay yourself. Pay any debt you have. Don’t use the money to buy more things that would potentially put you into further debt. This thought process would travel with me through adulthood and eventually, Mommyhood. One of the best gifts my parents have ever given us (besides the little nuggets of wisdom like this one and “make good choices” and “leave your best footprint behind on this planet” etc. and no pressure) was a debt-free college education. It’s not that we grew up with a boatload of money: my Dad just made sure he started saving for 3 college educations, early. He taught me that a little in the beginning goes a long way. 529 plans are a no-brainer for us. Mostly because a little goes a long way!! You put a little in when your child is young and you watch it grow and grow. We are so lucky to live in a state that fosters that.
I know how hard it is, (especially in this environment!) to even fathom thinking about our young children’s college tuition. I also know (and am a living product of) how important it is to start saving just a little, early on. It must be so thrilling for my Dad to see how a small investment grew to put 3 girls through college. He even started doing the same thing for his 7 grandchildren. It’s a no-brainer.
And guess what? Now, every child born or adopted after January 1st, 2020 who is a Massachusetts resident will be eligible to receive a $50 seed deposit from the State Treasurer’s Office when a U.Fund 529 College Investing Plan is opened. It’s called The BabySteps Savings Plan (okay that’s adorable) and it’s Massachusetts’ first statewide seeded college savings account program, designed to empower families to plan for their child’s higher education. Sounds like a nice jumpstart to me! I can’t help but think one day I’ll be arm and arm with my husband, feeling so proud of the future we worked hard to give our kids (with a little help from our friends).
This post is sponsored by Fidelity & MEFA. All views expressed are my own.