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Sep 07, 2016 09:52 AM EDT

Pay A Full Year Of College, The Painless Way

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Assuming you are saving up $50 a month when your kid is born. Then that would mean you would have about $19,000 (including a 6% return of investment) by the time your kid goes to college. That is about $11 per week.

Increase that amount to $22 per week. You'd get $39,000. But then you still have three years to save up for. According to a study from Market Watch, most parents say that putting away $50 does not look like much of a huge sacrifice. But when their kids hit high school, the survey finds that more than 50% of these parents said they could have saved more for college.

Carla Dearing, the CE of SUM180, a financial planning service, says that you should not save for your kid's college if you can't even save for your own retirement. "Be sure that you've maxed out the contributions to your own retirement accounts, whether it's at your company or in an individual IRA," says Dearing.

She talks about being on the way to financial security. If you are "well on your way," she adds that you should start saving for your children aggressively. Think of it as a similar approach in an airplane emergency setting. The flight crew and its posters would warn passengers, especially adults, to put on the oxygen mask first before putting the child's mask on.

The rule is to start early. Start saving for your retirement before you have kids or when your kids are still infants. It allows more time to accumulate funds and generate a return on investment. Steven Cliadakis, the managing director of Altum Wealth, a financial firm, advises this.

How can that be possible? Financial experts say that they can save by getting a tax-advantaged 529 plan. When it comes to saving for your kid's college, consider that a private school would cost as much as $50,000 per year. Community colleges cost about $5,000 per year. Dearing recommends that you should "plan on college costing at about $25,000 a year per child."

Watch this video for some more saving tips:

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