Are you overwhelmed at the thought of saving money for your children’s college education? Check out these four unusual options for building a college fund and saving money on tuition and expenses.
When it comes to saving money, especially for our children’s future, often between balancing a budget and unexpected expenses, this can be a daunting challenge. But this investment towards their education is exactly that, an investment. The ROI that stems from putting money towards a college degree is clearly worth the initial sacrifice and its value has increased over time.
According to The New York Times, new data and statistics from the Labor Department show that those with a higher education earn 98% more than those without. That’s up from 89% in 2009, rising from 85% more than a decade ago and up 64% from back in the eighties. So clearly setting aside funds for a college education is worth the investment.
But what are some “outside-the-box” methods we can use to build a university-sized nest egg for our kids? Check out these four, unusual options for funding our children’s college fund and saving money on tuition and other expenses:
1. Research the Best Loan Option
Consider private loans for school. Learn more at sites like Credible, a marketplace that allows you to compare financial products from multiple providers side-by-side. Credible is not a lender, a bank or a credit card issuer, they partner with the financial service providers so that they can provide you with a variety of competitive options, enabling you to find the right financial product for your needs. Best of all, Credible is completely free! This can definitely save you a lot of money.
Related: How to Reach Your Dreams
2. Study Abroad
As most of us already know and Daily Finance reported, as the price for a college education continues to climb sharply and has gotten to a level that’s out of reach for many Americans, that’s not the case overseas or in other countries like Canada.
For example, a young lawyer who obtained his degree at Oxford paid around $60,000 for their three-year law program and graduated early. Compare that to an average of $100,000 in the United States for a typical four-year term and that doesn’t include additional years in law school that is sometimes necessary.
Related: Gifts for Students Abroad
3. Purchase the Room
Many college students curb costs by staying in the dorm, sharing expenses with roommates and other communal cost-cutting avenues, but there’s another option, buying a condo.
You may be thinking, wait a minute, that’s spending money, not saving it … but your student and their potential roommates can be paying off the mortgage, which is often cheaper than rent. After graduation, the unit can be sold, usually at a profit and the earned equity can be applied towards student debt.
4. Pursue a Different Degree
These days, a degree doesn’t necessarily need to come from a University for increased earning potential, there’s always Community Colleges and Trade Schools. When it comes to the latter, attending a trade school gives students more perks compared to a traditional, higher education.
While costlier degrees from a college often require a four-year commitment, most trade schools only take about half this time, cost far less in tuition, and leave students with less debt. A degree for a specific trade often leads to an immediate job placement following graduation.
Get creative when it comes to your children’s college education and make the effort to invest in their future. It will be worth it in the long run for both you and your kids.
About the author: Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a freelance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics.
What tips do you have on saving up for your kids’ college education?