A 2015 study from Sallie Mae showed that even though most parents agree that a college education is important for their children, less than half are actually saving money to pay for that education. The main reason? Their budgets are too tight.

Parents don’t feel as though they have the money to spare. However, a few simple changes could make a big difference.

1. Rethink Your Budget

Sometimes we really don’t realize just how much money we are wasting on a monthly basis. Take a look at your bank statements and make a spreadsheet that shows you exactly where your money is going. Having a good grasp on your spending habits can help you find areas where you can cut back.

2. Skip Your Morning Coffee

One area many of us can cut back on is our latte spending. So many of us make quick stops to our favorite shops, especially for that beloved morning coffee. That money can be saved by making coffee at home. Instead of spending it, it can be put in a college savings account. It may not seem like much money, but it will add up quickly!

3. Open a College Savings Plan

If you are serious about saving, it’s a good idea to open a college savings account. A 529 gives tax breaks and allows your money to work smarter for your child’s future.

4. Save Birthday Cash

Just because your child receives money as a gift, doesn’t mean she has to spend it. Put it in that college savings account so it can be put to good use later, rather than spent on a toy she will soon forget about.

5. Invite Others to Contribute

Ask aunts, uncles, and grandparents to contribute to the savings account rather than purchasing birthday gifts for your child.

6. Inspire Your Child to Earn and Save

Starting with chores, your child can learn the value of working hard and earning money for college all by herself. Whether it’s a lemonade stand, babysitting, dog walking, or creating items to sell on etsy — your child can learn to earn her own money and take pride in herself for a job well done.

7. Teach the Importance of Getting Good Grades

Good grades can help your child pay for college, because they can lead to scholarships and grants. The less your child has to pay for her education, the better. Good grades can help her get the degree she wants without the debt.

It’s easier than you think to save money for college. Reconsider your spending habits, and get your child started off right on the path to a higher education. 

How do you save money for your child's education? Share with us in the comments!

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