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Why #StartingisBelieving And How To Save On College Expenses

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bloggin’ Mamas & the Florida Prepaid College Board. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Raising children can be a scary thought. From the moment you see a positive pregnancy test to when they’re born, you’re bombarded with a number of expenses. Planning ahead has helped us not only prepare for becoming parents, but it’s allowed us the opportunity to get a better grip on things.

We knew moving to Florida would be great for our family because of what the state has to offer. We just didn’t know how good it would be until we started looking into the number of resources available to a growing family.

Now with a third child, we know it’s time to plan a strategy for college expenses.


Why Save In Advance
The cost of living continues to increase. We should know, we purchased our first home last year and it’s been a blessing. Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to save, there’s always something we need to invest in to keep the roof over our heads.

My husband didn’t have it easy growing up and chose to take out student loans to get through college. Can you guess when we finished paying those off? If you guessed recently, then you’re correct.

Before we could qualify for a home loan, my husband needed to finish paying off his student loans. Fortunately, we had enough to pay it off and proceed with the purchase of our first home.

The idea of school loans has always scared me. My parents did their best to get my brothers and me through college without any help. It was the best thing they did for us and I’m forever grateful for their sacrifice. The stories I hear on social media from former classmates and their struggles to pay back student loans have a special place in my heart.

This isn’t something we want for our children to experience. As parents, we want the best for our children. Having experienced the headaches of student loans first-hand, we know that our children are worth the sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

How To Save For College
Summer is the perfect time to put extra money away for college, especially with a little help from Florida Prepaid. Through June 30, if you open a tax-advantaged Florida 529 Savings Plan, they’ll seed your account with $25. Plus, set up automatic monthly contributions, and they’ll add another $25 as part of their 529 Summer Jump-Start Promotion.*

There is no age limit, you don’t have to be a Florida resident to purchase and the plan can be used nationwide; so it’s a flexible option for parents who don’t want to commit to a Florida Prepaid College Savings Plan yet OR it can be used in conjunction with a prepaid plan to cover other expenses outside of the tuition and fees. For a full savings vs prepaid comparison, visit myfloridaprepaid.com/faqs/savings-vs-prepaid-plans/

What is a 529 Savings Plan?

529 savings plans are named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code 26 U.S.C. § 529 and are designed to encourage saving for future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. Many states offer 529 savings plan options, including Florida Prepaid.

Money from a 529 plan can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for study at any accredited college, university or vocational school in the United States and at some foreign universities. The money can also be used for room and board, as long as the fund beneficiary is at least a half-time student. Off-campus housing costs are covered up to the allowance for room and board that the college includes in its cost of attendance for federal financial-aid purposes. There is even an expansion that allows it to be used for K-12 educational expenses as well.

May 29 was National 529 day and Florida Prepaid is trying to increase awareness about college savings and the Florida 529 Savings Plan.

The Florida 529 Savings Plan – offered by Florida Prepaid

  • The Florida 529 Savings Plan has been recognized as a Top 10 performer among direct-sold 529 plans for 10-year investment performance in Savingforcollege.com’s latest quarterly performance rankings.
  • They carefully select each of the investment management firms and constantly monitor
    their performance.
  • The 529 Savings Plan has more than 62,000 active accounts with a market value of more than
    $527 million.

The Florida 529 Savings Plan can be started at anytime and there’s no minimum deposit to open one. Even if you can’t save for your child’s entire college education, starting something is always better than doing nothing. The funds in a Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used for any qualified higher educational expense, including tuition, room & board, textbooks, graduate school and much more. This gives you extreme flexibility to use the funds as you see fit, for whatever your child may need. And should those needs change during his/her college years, individuals are free to adjust as well.

The Florida 529 Savings Plan offers you the ultimate in flexibility. Simply choose from the investment options, then contribute as much and as often as you’d like to suit your budget and goals. Each investment option, such as our popular age-based option that automatically allocates contributions based on the age of the child, is independently run by professional investment managers. There are 11 investment options let you invest in any way you feel comfortable. From more aggressive to more conservative options, and with age-based and fully customized approaches, you have as much control as you want over how much you invest and where it’s invested. And as the years go by, you’re free to change contribution amounts and how they are allocated at any time.

See the website and FAQ for more details.

*529 Summer Jump-Start Promotion Rules

• Enroll in a new Florida 529 Savings Plan by June 30, 2018 on MyFloridaPrepaid.com, and you will earn a $25 contribution into your new college savings account.
• Set up automatic monthly contributions for your new account by June 30, 2018, for as little as $25 per month, and you will earn another $25 contribution into your account.
• This promotion is limited to the first 5,000 new accounts opened between May 29, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
• This offer only applies to new accounts opened between May 29, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
• Funds earned will be deposited directly into your Florida 529 Savings Plan account by August 30, 2018.
• The Florida 529 Savings Plan is an investment plan that may be used to set aside funds for future higher education and certain K-12 education expenses. Funds may be used tax-free to pay for any qualified higher education expense nationwide. Please review the Program Description and Participation Agreement for the Florida 529 Savings Plan for further details.
• The Florida Prepaid College Board will be the sponsor for all rewards.
• Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be in violation of the Rules or any laws, or to be attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the promotion by cheating, hacking, deception, or any other unfair practices.
• Details of the 529 Summer Jump-Start Promotion are at MyFloridaPrepaid.com/529JumpStart.

#StartingIsBelieving Twit­ter Chat

Join Blog­gin Mamas & Florida Prepaid as we host the #StartingIsBelieving Twit­ter Chat on Thurs­day, 6/14/18 at 9p EST! Join us as we discuss (more info coming soon) (Plus, there will be some prizes too!)

Date: Thursday, June 14, 2018

Time: 9:00–10:00pm EST / 6:00–7:00pm PST

Hash­tag: #StartingIsBelieving

Spon­sored By: @FloridaPrepaid

Pre­sented by: @BlogginMamas

Mod­er­a­tors: Eng­lish– @HeLoEnterprises Span­ish– @BBabushka

Co-hosts: @JustMarlaZ @RealAdviceGal @WorkingMomMagic @DiscoverSelf @paulabendfeldt

@coolchillmom @Mom_Junky@MTMEblog@GrowUpBilingual

Prizes

4- Florida Prepaid Prize Packs, including items like Slingpack or Backpack, water bottles, Frisbee, wristbands, and/or pencil pouches. ARV $75

Grand Prize

1- Florida Prepaid Prize Packs, including items like Slingpack or Backpack, umbrella, water bottles, Frisbee, wristbands, and/or pencil pouches. ARV $150

RSVP Prize

1– Florida Prepaid Prize Packs, including items like Slingpack or Backpack, water bottles, Frisbee, wristbands, and/or pencil pouches. ARV $75

Tweet­share:

Terms and Conditions

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING.

By RSVP’ing to this event and uti­liz­ing the #StartingIsBelieving hash­tag, the atten­dees acknowl­edge hav­ing read and agreed to these terms and conditions.

Twit­ter Party Prize Give­away begins June 14th, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET and ends no later than June 14th, 2018 at 10:30pm ET (the “Twit­ter Party Entry Period”). Entrants enter via fol­low­ing @FloridaPrepaid and @BlogginMamas, and post­ing a tweet with the #StartingIsBelieving hash­tag dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. Five (5) Win­ners will be drawn ran­domly by random.org at approx­i­mately 12 minute inter­vals dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. One (1) Win­ner will be drawn ran­domly via random.org from the event RSVP’s on the Mr. Linky widget.

Prizes include:

One (1) Florida Prepaid Prize Packs including items like a Slingpack or Backpack, water bottles, Frisbee, wristbands, and/or pencil pouches. ARV $75. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $75, for each of four (4) winners.

One (1) Florida Prepaid Prize Packs including items like a Slingpack or Backpack, umbrella, water bottles, Frisbee, wristbands, and/or pencil pouches. ARV $150. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $150, for one (1) winner.

One (1) Florida Prepaid Prize Packs including items like a Slingpack or Backpack, water bottles, Frisbee, wristbands, and/or pencil pouches. ARV $75. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $75, awarded to one (1) win­ner who RSVP’s via the Mr. Linky widget.

Each win­ner receives one (1) prize pack. Entrants who fail to com­plete said actions will be dis­qual­i­fied and an alter­nate win­ner will be selected from all entrants who entered dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. Win­ners will be noti­fied via DM (Direct Mes­sage) on Twit­ter with a request for an email address to send prize claim infor­ma­tion. Win­ners will have 48 hours to complete the prize claim form or an alter­nate win­ner will be selected from amongst all entries received dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. All prizes will be awarded pro­vided they are validly claimed by June 18th, 2018 at 11:59AM EST.

Entrants agree to release and hold harm­less the Blog­gin’ Mamas, Heather Lopez Enter­prises, LLC, Florida Prepaid, Moore Communications, Twit­ter, and any other orga­ni­za­tions respon­si­ble for spon­sor­ing, ful­fill­ing, admin­is­ter­ing, adver­tis­ing or pro­mot­ing this give­away, and their respec­tive par­ent, sub­sidiaries, and affil­i­ates and each of their respec­tive offi­cers, direc­tors, mem­bers, employ­ees, agents and sub­con­trac­tors (col­lec­tively the “Released Par­ties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and lia­bil­ity, includ­ing but not lim­ited to neg­li­gence and dam­ages of any kind to per­sons and prop­erty, includ­ing but not lim­ited to inva­sion of pri­vacy (under appro­pri­a­tion, intru­sion, pub­lic dis­clo­sure of pri­vate facts, false light in the pub­lic eye or other legal the­ory), defama­tion, slan­der, libel, vio­la­tion of right of pub­lic­ity, infringe­ment of trade­mark, copy­right or other intel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, prop­erty dam­age, or death or per­sonal injury aris­ing out of or relat­ing to a participant’s entry, cre­ation of an entry or sub­mis­sion of an entry, par­tic­i­pa­tion in this give­away, accep­tance or use or mis­use of prize. Entrant agrees to indem­nify, defend and hold harm­less the Released Par­ties from and against any and all claims, expenses, and lia­bil­i­ties (includ­ing rea­son­able attorney’s fees) aris­ing out of or relat­ing to an entrant’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in this give­away and/or entrant’s accep­tance, use or mis­use of prize, includ­ing, with­out lim­i­ta­tion, lia­bil­ity for per­sonal injury, dam­age, or loss.

The Released Par­ties make no war­ranties, and hereby dis­claims any and all war­ranties, express or implied, con­cern­ing any prize fur­nished in con­nec­tion with the give­away.

WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, SUCH PRIZES ARE PROVIDEDAS ISWITHOUT

WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND THE RELEASED PARTIES HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL

SUCH WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY,

FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND/OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.

Dis­clo­sure: Blog­gin’ Mamas is being com­pen­sated for man­ag­ing this Twit­ter Party. Indi­vid­ual co-hosts are being com­pen­sated for their par­tic­i­pa­tion. All prize ful­fill­ment is the respon­si­bil­ity of the sponsor.

Former B2B editor and marketer turned Family & Lifestyle blogger. Fatima is passionate about life and being social. When she isn't running around with her husband, three kids, and two pups, Fatima helps other bloggers and local businesses with their online marketing strategy. If you have any questions or would like to connect, feel free to reach out via email: tima@motherhoodthroughmyeyes.com

26 Comments

  • Danielle Smith

    This sounds like an amazing initiative. Affording college today is a difficult challenge. It’s great to know that there’s a savings plan like this for kids to continue their education.

  • Stacie

    This is definitely something we need to be focusing more on. We have some cushion in place for college, but the way things are going with tuitions, it won’t be nearly enough.

  • ♥Nancy♥ (@StyleDecor)

    Wonderful advice. My youngest is finishing college and has one more semester to go. (She’s finishing early.) We took advantage of Ohio’s 529 plan and I’m so glad we did!

    The twitter party sounds like so much fun! Love all the prizes!

  • briebrieblooms

    We were just talking about the cost of college today. We have two daughters and want to make sure they both have the same financial opportunities with our planning ahead. This is so important when you have children.

  • Up Run for Life Healthy Lifestyle Blog

    I wish that I didn’t have student loans. I got my associates degree without loans. When I decided to return to college, I was a single mom and knew that I needed more education in order to support my kids. Fast forward several years and now I’m kicking myself in the pants. I ended up being forced to medically retire 5 years ago due to chronic pain in my low back. I have not even thought about paying for my kids education. We have even suggested them to learn a trade now bc jobs like programming, mechanic, ac tech, etc will always be in demand jobs. Trades dont require expensive classes and mounting piles of debt to get started.

  • Rose Ann Sales

    This is such a nice post and what a great help to start for our kid’s future. Thank you for sharing this with us I appreciated it a lot.

  • Bradley Finnearty

    This is great information for people with children who want to make sure their kids have money for college. I wish they had something like this when I was young, I probably would have gone to college back then. My mother could not afford to help with it.

  • Lynndee

    Our son is already a high school freshman and he’ll be in college before we know it. Good to know about this. We’ll be looking more into this.

  • Kristi McAllister

    I had never heard of the Florida 529 Savings plan but that sounds pretty awesome. I don’t have children, but I am a full time student and college expenses are way more than they were when I attended university in my 20s. Really valuable information you’ve shared here. Great post!

  • Melanie

    I have no children, but I thimk it is wise for parents to set up savings plans. I went university for undergraduate and postgraduate, it costs a lot! x

  • nadaliebardo

    Oh college, what an expense you are. Part of me wonders with the cost of tuition just going up and up, can one really save it all? And then I wonder if it’s even necessary, but that’s the entrepreneur in my talking.

  • Wander With Ola

    Yeah the cost of education definitely keeps increasing and having a proper savings plan is definitely necessary. Florida 529 Savings Plan sounds pretty good, I will check it out. Thank you for sharing this!

  • chelf

    I can only imagine how stresfull it must be! Although I don’t have kids of my own I can see how my close friends are worrying about current and future expenses and saving up is definitely the best thing you can do!

  • liev cruz

    This is a great post to learn from esp to parents expecting a college student son and daughters anytime soon. Preparation is the best way to start things right for your child education security.

  • ninalehan21

    the cost and expenses of education keeps rising and having a proper savings plan is essential. Thank you for sharing this! Recently, in Ireland students were demanding the government and universities to lower the fees

  • angie

    thanks for sharing this great and useful information, with children going through early education we need to be able to think ahead on how they will go to college later

  • Taylor Aube

    It’s so important to start saving as early as possible. Such a wonderful post with so much information and insights!

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