Hello readers! As you may know, I wrote a review last month about the Acorn’s App. If you haven’t read that yet, you may want to read that review here The Acorns App – Get Your Undisciplined Ass to Invest. Since I have already written about the basics of the app, we are not going to go through the basics in this article.
In this article, we are going to go over a potential strategy to use the Acorn’s app to save for your child’s education. I want to get something out of the way, this is NOT the best way to save for your child’s education; there are better ways to do so. I am targeting this article to the parents who are basically slacking off on college savings. This is a strategy you can use if you are slacking off and can’t seem to pull yourself together to start a college savings plan.
Saving for college
There are multiple vehicles available for you to save for your children’s college education. Most of those vehicles have tax advantages, such as 529 plans, prepaid college, life insurance savings plans etc… This strategy does not have the type of tax advantages as those, which is why this is not the best way to save for college.
None-the-less, there are many people who just freeze-up when it comes to researching the different options available for college savings. This is the easiest way to start saving because it should take less than 15 minutes to setup.
Remember – this strategy assumes you use the Acorn’s app to invest your change as you purcahse items. In order for this strategy to work you need to download the Acorn’s app. You can download the Acorn’s app here (and get $5 added to your account!).
I will be making assumptions in this article to show you how to use the Acorn’s App to save for your children’s college education. You should keep in mind that these assumptions may not fit into your personal economic situation. It is important to understand that the Acorn’s App “rounds up” your transactions. So, if you purchase a coffee at Dunkin Donuts for $1.75, the app will “round up” the transaction to the nearest dollar; 25 cents will be added to your account.
We will use the following assumptions:
- Your average roundup is 50 cents.
- You average four transactions per day (think buying breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a coffee using your cards)
- You make a long term rate of return of 6%.
- You have 16 years to save until your child goes to college.
Using the above assumptions, you would save the following:
- 7 (days per week) X 4 (transactions per day) X $.5 (per transaction roundup) = $14 saved per week
- If we save $14 per week and make a rate of return of 6% over 16 years, that $14 will grow to just over $17,800.
That may not pay for all of college, but it is a start.
If instead of averaging 4 transactions per day you averaged 8, it would look like this:
- 7 (days per week) X 8 (transactions per day) X $.5 (per transaction roundup) = $28 saved per week
- If we save $28 per week and make a rate of return of 6% over 16 years, that $14 will grow to over $35,000.
As we can see, each family’s individual economic situation will have a drastic effect on the outcome. If you have a child going to college in 5 years instead of 16, this is obviously not going to save you the same amount of money.
A formula for you
Here is a formula to use to figure out how this would add up for you.
First, you should answer the following:
- How many years until your child goes to college?
- How many transactions do you average per week?
By answering those two questions, we can come up with this formula:
7 (days per week) X ___ (transactions per day) X .5 = $____ saved per week
You can now take that weekly savings and go to this website to calculate how much that money grows to:
Make sure you type in weeks as the frequency, and I would use a 6% rate of return.
And there you go!
Remember, the most important thing is to get saving for those educational expenses as soon as possible. This may not be the most efficient route to take, but it is an easy route to take in that it is simple to get started and you don’t need to do vast research to figure out your best option.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: These are the ideas and opinions of the author. The author is not responsible for the actions of those who read the posts on this blog. Each individual reader has a unique situation and unique needs. This blog is not intended to solve those unique situations of the readers. This blog is not liable for decisions made by the readers of this blog.
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