College is something you should only start thinking about when your child steps foot on campus, right? For many parents, this is the case. And for many others, they begin thinking about it tentatively when their children are in their teens. However, planning and saving for college can never start soon enough! With college tuition increasing much faster than the rate of inflation, it is imperative that parents begin saving long before their children reach the teenage years. While tucking money away when your children are still using bottles and pacifiers may seem a little extreme, it’s better to have saved up too much than not enough.
With this helpful infographic from GED Academy, parents can find several practical ways to cut back on expenses and make those tuition payments a bit more manageable. Love your Starbucks and feel you can’t live without it? By foregoing the store-brewed drinks and sipping at home, you can save nearly $20,000 in eighteen years! Other things, like eating at home instead of dining out, and buying generic brands instead of name brand products, will leave you with a nice chunk of change for your children’s college fund. While the teenage years may be the perfect time to begin filling out college applications, it’s best to begin saving when those teenagers of yours are still in diapers. They’ll thank you later. We promise.