Monday, September 9, 2013

Have You Started Saving For Your Child's College Yet? It Is Never Too Early To Start! -- #Giveaway for CT Residents Only

Disclosure: I was compensated through the form of a cash donation to our daughters' CHET college savings accounts from the vendor, in order to share more about the CHET 529 College Savings Plan with readers.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

"Did you know that September is National “College Savings Month”? The cost of college has increased by 42 percent over the past 10 years at public colleges and over 31 percent at private nonprofit universities. Now more than ever it is important that families making saving for their child (s) education a top priority."

It was not until recently that I finally paid off all my student loans, which were over $150,000.  I remember that when I first enrolled in college back when I was 16 years old, that the last thing on my mind was having to pay off these school loans.  My parents were making the payments and filling out the school loans forms.  I was just told to cover my textbook costs and spending money costs, as I was living away from home at college in Worcester, MA.  But, when I finished college four years later, the student loans didn't wait.  A month after I graduated, I received my itemized bill, showing that it would take 16 years to pay off, with x amount of interest.  This was a wake up call for me.  Not only was I fresh, but I was trying to find a job in the public health field, with no luck.  When I finally found a job, I had to begin budgeting to pay off both my interest and no-interest loans.  A good chunk of my bi-weekly paycheck was going to my school loans, and just knowing that if I stuck to the payment plan, it would take 16 years to pay off, blew my mind.  Back in the day, when my brothers and I were heading off to college, most families didn't have a college fund set up.  Either they relied on school loans and scholarships like my family did, or they didn't go to school, or at least had to postpone admittance until they could afford the first year out of pocket.  

Looking back, the $8,500 a semester I was paying doesn't seem like a lot compared to the costs college students and their parents now face when paying for school.  I chose a state college as a way to help save my family some money, but today state schools are right up there with other colleges and universities in terms of pricing.  As a parent of two girls, who are a year apart, I am already worrying about how we will pay for their higher education.  What if they want to pursue a specialized field of study or go to an elite university?  Will I have to tell them they can't go because we can't afford it?  Will school loans and grants still be available when it comes time for them to go to school?  The future is uncertain.  But, thanks to the planning of my husband, we are already starting to put money away for their college years. 

Shortly after both our girls were born, my husband created a CHET Account for (we needed their social security numbers to start an account), and set up a bi-weekly deduction from his paycheck to go into each of their college savings accounts.  While it is not much now, we hope that by the time they are ready to choose a college either in CT or elsewhere, that they will have a good start financially, and not be too stressed about how they will help us pay for school.  And, my husband and I will not have to go bankrupt or use up our retirement funds to pay for their schooling.  

So, if you have children who are currently in grade school, or toddlers like my girls, you should consider starting a college fund for them.  Like I said earlier, it is never too early to start.  And, if you live in the state of Connecticut, the CHET 529 college savings plan is worth checking out.  "The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) was established under the Connecticut State Treasurer in 1997 to help families save for college.  CHET is the only direct-sold 529 college savings plan in Connecticut."  This is the plan we are using to save for our daughters' college, and love how easy it was to set up and add to monthly.  And, whenever family and friends ask what the girls need when their birthdays or holidays roll around, we always say that their education is most important, and that they can write us a check or give the girls money and we will transfer it into their college savings accounts.  They can also give through an e-gift as well.  Toys are fun for the moment, but they will need a college degree when they get older.  College is not getting any cheaper, but with the help of a CHET 529 college, when it comes time to send the girls off, they will have a little help, with money that we were able to put away now for them.

To learn more about the CHET 529 plan, including how to set up an account for your child(ren), visit their website at 

You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for news and more --
Twitter: @CHET529


I am so excited about this giveaway, as one lucky CT resident will be awarded a $1,529 contribution, that will be placed in an existing CHET college savings account, or used to start a new one for your child.  How great is that?  Every little bit helps when saving for college, and thanks to this amazing giveaway opportunity, the folks at CHET will be helping one CT family plan for their child's future with their $1,529 gift. :-)

To enter this giveaway, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  And, if you have family and friends with children who live in CT, please share this amazing giveaway opportunity with them.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More about the CHET 529 College Savings Fund:

Disclosure: I was compensated through the form of a cash contribution to our daughters' CHET college savings accounts from the vendor, in order to share more about the CHET 529 College Savings Plan with readers.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


  1. Funds are not just for tuition they can also be used for tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance; certain room and board costs, certain expenses for "special needs" students.

  2. I learned that "The minimum initial contribution is $25 per Investment Option."

  3. I learned that you can start an account with as little as $25, and there are no start up fees.

  4. The earnings portion of any distributions used to pay for qualified higher education expenses will be free from federal and Connecticut income tax.

  5. there's deductions for those who contribute (and we have 3 chet accounts!)