This past weekend we tailgated with friends in town for the Northwestern vs Michigan State game. Many are in the depths of paying and saving for college tuition or are a few short years away.

Saving for college: Is it really that expensive? It's time to start saving and planning ahead now while the kids are young.

The conversation about sending kids off college steered toward where we want our girls to go. In state or out of state? As a southern girl, I have dreams of Vanderbilt, Ole Miss or Mississippi State. My husband wouldn’t mind Michigan State. We’ve got time on our hands, but the cost of sending a child to college is NO joke.

Not that I’m naïve, but I almost choked on my Bloody Mary when my husband clued me in on how much we’ll pay for college tuition by the time our oldest left the nest. Listen, we do ok financially but as a 1 ½ income family, if we didn’t start saving for college when the girls were babies (or even now at ages 10 and 8) they’ll be forced to incur a significant amount of student loans.

Saving for college: Is it really that expensive? It's time to start saving and planning ahead now while the kids are young.

We were fortunate to both graduate college debt free and that’s our goal for the girls. The last thing I want to do is burden them with mounds of debt before they have a chance to start their careers. On the other hand, I also want to be able to retire at a reasonable age, decorate our new home and continue enjoying annual vacations. And feeding our family is important too!

As college tuitions continue to rise, it’s so important to put plan in place and start saving now. Did you know that in 18 years a state university could cost as much as $41,000+ per year?? So much for my dreams of tailgating at a southern school – how can we even justify out of state tuition?

Saving for college: Is it really that expensive? It's time to start saving and planning ahead now while the kids are young.

While we don’t know what college our girls will want to attend, it’s imperative to start planning and saving early to avoid financial difficulties in the future.

Have you started saving for college?

Saving for college: Is it really that expensive? It's time to start saving and planning ahead now while the kids are young.

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26 Comments on Saving for College – Does It Really Cost That Much?

  1. Melissa Chapman
    November 8, 2017 at 4:50 pm (2 months ago)

    It is so sobering I have been saving for 15 years and started early and have done well in our 529 but it still might not be enough. The rule is start early and contribute often like so many other things.

  2. reesa
    November 8, 2017 at 8:07 pm (2 months ago)

    We started a savings account for my kids for their college a few years ago. A little bit has gone a very long way so far.

  3. Terri Steffes
    November 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm (2 months ago)

    Our state has an awesome tax free savings plan for college that was a tremendous help for us. Our daughter, who is 32, graduated debt free, unlike many of her colleagues.

  4. Krystal Butherus
    November 8, 2017 at 9:16 pm (2 months ago)

    Paying for college I’ve heard can be expensive! Great advice on setting aside money for your kids’ college education.

  5. Rachel
    November 8, 2017 at 9:52 pm (2 months ago)

    We have barely started saving for college. We are definitely starting to see the reality of how hard it will be to save now that college is only 7 years away.

  6. Alison Ray
    Alison Ray
    November 9, 2017 at 8:09 am (2 months ago)

    That’s amazing!

  7. Alison Ray
    Alison Ray
    November 9, 2017 at 8:10 am (2 months ago)

    Wow it’s scary to know you’ve been saving that long and it still may not be enough?

  8. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    November 9, 2017 at 8:17 am (2 months ago)

    My oldest daughter is in her freshman year at a local state college. The prices are ridiculous. We didn’t have any savings for her college, and thankfully she was able to get financial aide.

  9. Cindy Ingalls
    November 9, 2017 at 5:19 pm (2 months ago)

    It’s crazy how expensive college has become. It really shouldn’t be so unattainable or require so much student debt. The earlier you start saving the better.

  10. Angela Cardamone
    November 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm (2 months ago)

    I almost fell over when our financial planner told me how much to put away!! It is so expensive…my kids will need to take out a few loans!

  11. Jessica Joachim
    November 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm (2 months ago)

    we plan on doing for our kids what my mom did for me, and that is the Florida Pre-paid college. I was able to go to 2 years community and 2 years state for a locked in rate that my mom paid for when i was a kid.

  12. Hey Sharonoox
    November 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm (2 months ago)

    We started saving for our kid’d college fund a few years ago. It’s great to start early.

  13. Andrea
    November 9, 2017 at 7:35 pm (2 months ago)

    SO important and while I myself am not in college and my brother is about to graduate it is a good thing to keep in mind when and if I do decide to have kids. Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips.

  14. Alison Ray
    Alison Ray
    November 9, 2017 at 8:18 pm (2 months ago)

    It’s crazy how expensive and how much money college will be for our kids.

  15. Alison Ray
    Alison Ray
    November 9, 2017 at 8:19 pm (2 months ago)

    So true!

  16. Alison Ray
    Alison Ray
    November 9, 2017 at 8:20 pm (2 months ago)

    Wow she was lucky! I remember trying to apply for financial aide and was denied numerous times. My mom had to take out a parent loan to help pay for my college and it was no where close to being overly expensive.

  17. Roxanne
    November 10, 2017 at 7:39 am (2 months ago)

    I agree to starting a savings plan because it’s important for kids to learn that skill. However, no one is ever going to be able to save enough to fully cover the cost of college. Especially if you have several kids attending at same time. My mission is to cover as much as I can, and allowing my kids to take out minimal loans.

  18. Kaity | With Kids and Coffee
    November 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm (2 months ago)

    This is on our list of financial goals to start working on hopefully next year. We are putting a really heavy focus on debt in 2018, but should be in a position to start really building decent college funds for our kiddos in 2019.

  19. Brittany
    November 10, 2017 at 2:48 pm (2 months ago)

    The cost of college is crazy scary, and it may only get worse. We started a fund with our kids when they were younger and have been contributing every year! Hopefully it will grow to a substantial amount by the time they are ready to pack their bags!

  20. Anne Murphy
    November 10, 2017 at 4:52 pm (2 months ago)

    Yes, we thought college cost a lot when I was in school. It’s scary expensive now! But I did grow up with my parents saving for it, and even my own money from gifts and summer jobs being put away – I paid for my own books and supplies, at least.

  21. Heather
    November 10, 2017 at 7:05 pm (2 months ago)

    College expenses are just out of control now. It’s definitely a NEED to start planning and saving well before you have children attending!

  22. Melissa
    November 10, 2017 at 7:27 pm (2 months ago)

    Wow it’s so crazy to think how expensive college can get in a few years, definitely it is best to save as early as possible.

  23. Yasmin Ali
    November 10, 2017 at 9:12 pm (2 months ago)

    College really is another thing! I still have some loans to pay for, and I regret not paying for it while I was in school.

  24. Nayantara Hegde
    November 11, 2017 at 3:02 am (2 months ago)

    Education is getting expensive by the year and with so much global competition it is going to get tougher to make sure our kids have a meaningful career and life ahead. Saving money is going to be of paramount importance.

  25. Hannah Rooks
    November 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm (2 months ago)

    I think it’s absolutely ridiculous how much universities cost nowadays!! I go to a community college and paid $800/semester for general eds, currently paying $1400/semester for my accredited nursing program to become an RN. And concurrently working on my bachelors through ASU for $13,000 total. I definitely recommend going that route, but if a university with a hefty price tag is a must.. Then you definitely must start saving early!

    Hannah Rooks

  26. Tara Holland
    November 12, 2017 at 11:05 am (2 months ago)

    This is terrifying, I can’t believe how much it could increase by the time my kids go to school. We have started to save, but not enough!

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