The long weekend is coming up and we are heading to Newburyport for the Music Festival and the U.Fund Dreams Tour.
I’ve partnered with Fidelity and MEFA (the Massachusetts Education and Finance Authority) to spread the word about the U.Fund Dreams Tour, which will be at the Newburyport Music Festival. (The U.Fund Dreams Tour will also be at the Ecotarium in Worcester the day before.) It is a fun event for kids, so we will definitely be spending time in the tent playing around, and learning.
The U.Fund Dreams Tour is a Massachusetts specific series of events this summer and fall to bring a cool green screen and fun costumes to kids. Kids can dress up as a doctor, astronaut and more. Then get their picture taken in front of a green screen so it looks like they are in a doctor’s office or on the Moon. It is a fun way to get a visual on what they want to be (and which they can now see) when they grow up. Then parents can get information on how to pay for it!
How Much Will College Cost?
According to an online calculator at CollegeSavings.org, a four year education (with room and board) at an in-state school (based on my 4 year old son going to college in 14 years) will cost my family about $192,000 (figuring an college inflation rate of 6%, which is what it has been for the last decade according to the College Board.)
Even if you only use the current rate of inflation, which is 2% according to the Current Consumer Price Index published a couple of weeks ago by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the cost for four years of public college in the year of 2028 will be $100,000.
So how much do you need to save? Bankrate.com has a financial calculator to play around with. When I put in that I had saved $0 and had to pay for an annual tuition rate of $30,000 a year, 14 years from now, earning 5% growth a year, I have to save over $1000 a month for each child. If it is $10,000 a year, that is about $350 a month for each child.
It seems daunting, and I think that is why so many people put it off until ‘someday’ when they can wrap their heads around it.
Paying for College
There are so many ways to save, and it can add up fast and easily. For example, we have a Fidelity Credit Card. Every time we buy gas, groceries, clothes, etc., we get 2% cash back into our college (529) savings account. Since the average cost of groceries per week for a family of four averages around $200, you’ll get $4 in your account each week just by grocery shopping. Add the gas for your car, some lattes from Starbucks and more, and you’re putting away $20-$50 a month without even knowing it.
Stay tuned for my next post with more college savings ideas and tools. I’ll report back on what I find (and learn) at the U.Fund Dreams Tour this weekend!