If you’re an avid follower of my personal finance blog for Millennials, then you know that I wrote almost exactly one year ago about how I opened a 529 college savings plan for my daughter when she was only 6-days old. A bit extreme for some, but for me it was right on schedule.
I had actually read about some Millennials opening 529 plans for children they didn’t even have (or “expect” to have even in the next 9-months). That scenario was a bit too aggressive for me, as we had been trying for some time to have a baby with no such luck. I was convinced opening a 529 college savings plan for a pre-conceived child wasn’t right. With all that said, I am glad I opened a state-sponsored 529 plan for my daughter when she was only 6-days old.
529 Savings with a Match?
Now, let’s get back to the title of my article on a 529 college savings plan with a match. Does such a 529 plan exist you ask? Well, no, not exactly. The premise of this blog post is to encourage Millennial parents to not only contribute whatever they can on a regular (monthly via dollar cost average) basis to their child’s 529 savings plan, but to also match any gifted contributions you receive from family members and friends.
For example, this week my parents gave my baby girl a Valentine’s Day outfit and a $20 bill. My parents have done this, albeit in very small amounts thus far, but they have gifted us some money for our daughter’s college fund.
This was at our request…otherwise I think they would just give us more and more gifts and presents. But I would strongly prefer money for her college fund. I struggled with student debt because my parents didn’t save. I don’t want to struggle to put my daughter through college, nor did I want her to take on the burden of huge student loans like so many of us Millennials are these days.
The day after my parents gave my daughter $20 for Valentine’s Day I immediately wired that amount from my checking account to her 529 savings plan. I then matched 100% of the contribution, so I actually wired $40 to my daughter’s 529 plan. We received a couple contributions from family members at her birth but I didn’t match those. To be honest, I just thought of the idea in the last couple of months. Now I am ready to act on the idea of a 529 savings plan with a match (by me!).
So moving forward I am going to try and match 100% of any family members’ 529 contributions that my daughter receives. Granted these are small amounts, but if a family member gives my daughter $100 for her college savings plan, I am going to show my appreciation to both by matching 100% of that. My daughter should begin college in 2035, and from my calculations it is going to be very expensive.