Saving Towards a Major Goal

While it might feel like you don't need to start saving for college before you've reached high school, it is never too early. Consider asking your grandparents or relatives to pitch in to your 529 plan, a state-sponsored investment account.. You will not have to pay taxes on the earnings of a 529 plan if you use the money on college costs. You can enroll in a plan from any of the US states, no matter where you live. is a good website to compare your choices that range from conservative savings plans to aggressive, riskier ones. 

Start early when discussing college with your parents. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know yet what you’re going to study. Think about college life - would you like a bigger or smaller college, pros and cons of college and campus locations, class sizes, sports they offer and how much money you will be able to spend on college. Think about possible scholarships, grants interests you have. The clearer you are about yourself, the easier it will be finding your choices of a bunch of colleges you will be ultimately interested in attending. 

Saving for a big purchase like a car can feel like a daunting task. Do some research on what car you want and which model. Some websites that will help you with finding an affordable car are Craigslist, Autotrader, or Enterprise car sales. Base your decision on your realistic spending limit. How much room do you have for a monthly car payment? How much money can you put down? The more money you have as a down payment, the less you’ll need to loan and the lower your monthly payments will be. Better yet, buy a used car you can pay all in cash for. (Just make sure it is safe!) If you start out having to make car payments because you bought a car you couldn’t really afford, they can become a way of life that you might never shake. Try not to lease a car, especially when it’s your first car. If you really want to buy a new car, consider waiting until the new model year cars arrive so you can get a good deal on last year’s models. There are often significant savings.

Don’t forget that you will also have monthly car insurance to pay for that is more expensive for teens than when we've proven to be safe drivers in our twenties when insurance will be less costly on average. You will also have car maintenance expenses besides gas that you will need on a regular basis. Follow your car’s manual and check out any problems that may arise immediately. Car issues don’t resolve themselves, they’ll only get worse and more costly if you don’t give them attention.

Website tips:

Muller, Chris. “7 Tips On Saving For College As A Teen.” Money Under 30,

Zinn, Dori, et al. “How to Save Money for a Car.” Credit Karma, 19 Nov. 2019,

Person, and wikiHow. “How to Save For a New Car (for Teens).” WikiHow, WikiHow, 29 Mar. 2019,

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