This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.
“Skip a latte and spend the $5 on something that will last longer.”
I have used this argument often in my life, either to encourage someone to donate to a charity, or to save money for their child’s education.
The latte example is true, of course, but let’s up the ante a bit to MEALS.
Our family spent so much money on meals out over the years. While of course it’s fine to have some family celebrations at restaurants, or to grab a bite when life gets hectic, when I look back on it, I am struck by the fact that I spent lots of money without having much to show for it.
I am sure this sentiment will only grow stronger as I age, but I promise you I never say, “I wish I had spent more money on budget-busting meals I immediately forgot.”
Florida 529 Savings Plans Provide Lasting Benefits (and Flexibility)
Here are some of the things a Florida 529 Savings Plan can provide:
- mandatory fees
- room and board
- textbooks and supplies
- other equipment that is required for enrollment
While a Prepaid Plan is fabulous (we are fortunate that my parents bought Prepaid contracts for both of my children), a Florida 529 Savings Plan pays for additional needs beyond those covered by Prepaid and gives flexibility.
Here are a few ways 529 plans are different from Prepaid Plans:
- Florida 529 Savings Plans do not have a set payment amount or schedule.
- A family can contribute as much or as often as desired, and accounts can be opened at any time. There is no minimum contribution to open a Florida 529 Savings account, and there are no application fees.
- The biggest difference between the two is that the Florida 529 Savings Plan is subject to fluctuations in the financial markets, while the Prepaid Plan are is guaranteed by the State of Florida.
- There are 11 investment strategy options, including an age-based option that gets more conservative as the beneficiary gets closer to college age.
Sign Up Now and Get a Jump Start
The administrators of the Florida 529 Savings Plans are doing a special promotion:
Open a Florida 529 Savings Plan, from now through June 30, and they will seed your account with $25. Set up an automatic monthly contribution of $25 or more, and they will add another $25.*
To sign up, click here.
It will take you about 10 minutes to enroll, and you’ll need the social security numbers for yourself and your beneficiary.
You might want to explore your investment options here first.
An Investment That Lasts
Even though I knew, in an offhand way, that there would be additional fees beyond tuition when my children enrolled in school (duh, housing anyone? but also all sorts of fees not to mention books and other extra costs), I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been.
As I’ve written, my short sightedness led to me having to take out student loans to take care of those additional expenses.
In retrospect, I would gladly eaten a few more mundane meals at home to have the peace of mind of less debt now.
I would have peace of mind and the knowledge that I have given my kids a gift that lasts much longer than a dinner out.
*Here’s the fine print of the summer jump start offer:
- This promotion is limited to the first 5,000 new accounts opened between May 29, 2018 and June
- This offer only applies to new accounts opened between May 29, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
- Funds earned will be deposited directly into your Florida 529 Savings Plan account by August 30, 2018.
- Full details here.