When it comes to life, we love a good cheat sheet. And the same goes for college savings! While an Achieve Montana 529 savings account is the ultimate college savings tool (hello low minimums and tax-free withdrawals), it’s still just that – a tool. The true savings start with you! And with these practical savings tips, your journey can start today! Check out these quick and easy ways to get the most out of your 529 savings account.
Pro Tip: Try implementing a new “way to save” each month over the next year!
1. Make regular contributions.
Even if they’re small, setting up regular contributions through direct deposit or an automatic bank transfer will ensure that 529 savings are at the forefront of your budget. And the truth is that after a while you’ll likely forget it’s even happening!
2. Have a garage sale.
Most of us (read: all of us) have unused items laying around the house. Last season’s clothes, toys that have been outgrown, sporting equipment we haven’t touched in years. Don’t just sit on it, sell it! And deposit that money back into your 529 account.
3. Ask family & friends to contribute.
You don’t have to go at this alone, and we encourage you not to. Whether a special occasion or unexpected gift, invite your friends and family into the savings process. They’ll be honored you asked.
4. Make investments on birthdays.
Speaking of special occasions…Have the birthday party, eat the cake, but instead of investing in new toys, try celebrating a new year of growth by setting aside savings for their future!
5. Create a chore chart.
Hear us out – a normal chore chart, but where half of the allowance goes directly to your child and half goes back into their 529 savings account. Teaching children about savings and money management is a life skill they’ll have forever.
6. Cancel a subscription (or two).
If you’re like us, you currently have too many monthly subscriptions to count. Identifying one or two that you can cancel (even temporarily) can go a long way toward your overall savings.
7. Ask about employer contributions.
Similar to a retirement plan, some employers offer a match program for 529 accounts and higher education savings. And, if they don’t already, it might be something they’re willing to consider.
8. Shop with UPromise®
You read that right, we’re encouraging you to shop! But do it with UPromise®, a free rewards program that allows you to earn cash back toward college savings with everyday purchases.
9. Pack your lunch.
It’s the savings tip as old as time – pack your lunch, skip your morning latte, eat out less. While not always fun in the moment (and never fun on a Friday), forgoing additional food and beverage expenses even twice a week can add up quick.
10. Get a library card.
Yes, library cards do still exist! And not only does your local library likely have fun and educational programming for your kids, they also have rows and rows of books…that are free…and don’t require a purchase. You see where we’re going.
11. Take a staycation.
Hours on the road, screaming kids, meltdowns at the park. When you really think about it, are expensive vacations always worth it? Next time you need a break, try a camping trip to the backyard or a weekend at the local hotel with the really cool pool!
12. Calculate earned growth.
You know how we said an Achieve Montana savings account is the ultimate college savings tool? It really is! And a huge part of that is due to our flexible investment options. Not sure where to start? Check out this quick investment guide!
For more information about Achieve Montana, download an Enrollment Kit at achievemontana.com or call 877.486.9271. The Enrollment Kit includes a Program Description that discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing.
If you are not a Montana taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program.
Achieve Montana is sponsored by the State of Montana and administered by the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education, as sole trustee of the Montana Family Education Savings Trust. Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services, LLC provides program management, recordkeeping and administrative support services for Achieve Montana. Blackrock Fund Advisors, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc., New York Life Insurance Company and the Vanguard Group, Inc. each provide investment management services for the underlying investments comprising Achieve Montana’s portfolios.
Except to the extent of the New York Life Insurance Company guarantee that is available for the Capital Preservation Portfolio and certain of the Year of Enrollment Portfolios, investment returns are not guaranteed, and you could lose money by investing in Achieve Montana.
Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements. See the Program Description for more details on qualified expenses.
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