Arizona 529 Family College Savings Program is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living.
College Savings Start with the Whole Family
Summer vacation has arrived for many families in the Valley, and with school out for a couple of months, it's the perfect time to help kids learn about the importance of saving - especially for college.
Whether it's family game night, a trip to the movies or a sweet dessert, there are plenty of chances to teach your children about choices and budgeting.
Here are a few fun ideas:
· Create jars for Spending, Saving, and the Future. Have them spread their allowance throughout the three jars. How much will they spend? How much will they save for a big want, like a video game or toy? How much will they save for the future, such as college?
· Have them plan some activities for the summer, such as a trip to the waterpark. Talk about the cost, and ways that you could reduce that cost by using coupons or taking snacks with you. Also talk about alternatives, like going to the community pool, or water balloons at the park. Help them identify options and make choices.
· Give them a summer budget and help them decide where the money goes. They will learn to find alternatives or save for what they really want.
With those skills in hand, start talking about the future. What will they be when they grow up? What will it take to get there? How can they save for the future?
As a savings option, consider the Arizona 529 Family College Savings Program (AZ 529). Some key elements in this plan include the following:
· Tax benefits: AZ 529 plans offer tax-deferred savings and withdrawals are free of federal and state taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses. Arizona residents are eligible for a tax deduction of up to $4,000 as married couples filing jointly, or $2,000 as individual tax filers.
· AZ 529 plans are flexible. Funds can be used at a 4-year college, community colleges, as well as vocational, technical or trade schools. Funds can also be used for graduate school or any accredited school throughout the country.
· College expenses can add up quickly. Funds saved in an AZ 529 account can apply not only to tuition, but to other expenses such as room and board, books, supplies, study abroad coursework, or essential items such as computers.
· Low starting cost: You can start saving in your AZ 529 account at any time with $25 or less.
For more information on an Arizona 529 plan, visit az529.gov.