When it comes to achieving success, in any aspect of life, one of the most important steps is setting thoughtful goals. As parents planning for our children's future, this is no different. A goal can be any objective that you set for yourself and push yourself to achieve. As parents, no goals are more important than those that impact our children and their future. Student-loan debt is a worsening problem for college graduates, with an average borrower owing about $30,000 when they graduate. It's no surprise then that parents are hoping to help their kids avoid borrowing. Today we are going to look at College Savings' goals, and more specifically, how to set them.
First, it is crucial to understand why you want to set the college savings goal. Most parents realize that college is becoming more expensive, and without establishing a plan early in their kid's lives, they will be unable to pay for college when their children eventually grow up. Once we understand why we are setting the college savings goal, it helps to have a framework to ensure success.
Those who set goals for themselves are more likely to achieve success than those who do not. Here are tips for how to approach setting your college savings goals and how the UNest app can help you along the way.
Goals need to be clear and easily understood for them to be most effective. With the UNest College Savings Calculator, parents can calculate what they will need for college and develop a plan of recurring contributions to hit the mark.
Good college savings goals have a high enough level of difficulty that you have to push yourself to achieve them. At UNest, we encourage our parents to start by forgoing their daily cup of coffee and instead invest $3 a day. If you start early, you'll be amazed at how much you can accomplish over 18 years!
Without a high level of commitment, it's difficult to achieve any goal, especially those that are somewhat challenging. Helping facilitate engagement by offering monthly and biweekly withdrawal features allows us to help parents keep their college savings commitment to their children. We find that once our parents start using UNest, they stick with it, and we are proud that our app has such high retention.
You need to be able to receive information about how well you are progressing toward your college savings goal. This information may motivate, or it may signal that your goal needs to be adjusted. At UNest we have a tracker that allows parents to monitor their contributions and our performance as we work to grow your money. This instant feedback helps parents understand if they are on track or need to adjust their goals.
The more complex a goal is, the more time you need to give yourself to achieve it. Reasonable goals don't have to be complicated, but understanding how complex your goals are is an essential part of planning how you will achieve them. Saving for college is a complex goal, but at UNest, we have done everything in our power to simplify things and make them achievable for all parents. From selecting 5 star rated plans, allowing you to automate contributions, and even providing email customer service support to answer any questions.
Whether it is with UNest or another advisor, we hope you will take the time to set goals around saving for your children's future education. Together we can stop our growing problem of student debt and give our children a better, debt-free future. For additional information on saving for college, please visit us at UNest or find us on the app store.
Ksenia Yudina is focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Using her experience helping parents plan and manage their finances at Capital Group/American Funds, she founded UNest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. Follow us at @UNest.