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Ways to save for your child’s college tuition in advance

If you’re buying on a budget and looking for both perfect and practical, try for a gift that keeps on giving. One where the buck doesn’t stop there.

Christian Emmert, 22, graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University debt-free. He said, “I can really go into the workforce now and immediately start saving.”

Emmert can start saving now because at just eight years old, his mom and dad started saving for his future.

For nearly 10 years they set aside money every month into the state’s college savings plan, Florida Prepaid.

He said, “It’s very heartwarming to know that my parents have thought about that since I was a young kid.”

To stuff your child’s stocking with savings, consider opening an account, and asking family and friends for contributions instead of more clutter.

“I’ve gotten far more use out of it than any Lego set,” Emmert explained. “I would highly recommend that any parent do it it’s one of the most impactful things that I’ve had.”

Plans start at $50 a month.

And if your child doesn’t go to college, you get back what you paid into it.

Another idea is to give fractions of a stock.

Kimberly Palmer with NerdWallet says it’s a lot less money than buying a full stock and it’s a teaching opportunity for kids, too. “One way you can make this easy is by using a company like Stockpile. … I let my son take some Nintendo stock. My daughter picked Netflix stock $20, $25 each and they can actually see the graph watching it grow over time”

If your grandkids or nieces and nephews don’t live in Florida, ask their parents if they have a 529 College Savings Account.

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