Author: Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha

As we begin the new decade, each of us has the opportunity to refresh and make changes in order to best meet our goals for the months and years to come. This is particularly true with your collage savings plans. A simple checkup can go a long way toward ensuring that you are prepared for the checkpoints and milestones that will define your family’s financial future.

In today’s blog, we explore five simple and proactive steps to help kick off your year on the right foot:

Evaluate Costs

Working with a clear goal—and a calculated plan to reach it—lays an essential foundation for healthy college savings. Use the NEST 529 Savings Calculator for an up-to-date estimate of how much higher education will cost for your family, and how much you should aim to save each month.

Refresh Your 2020 Budget

Reevaluating your monthly budget in the New Year is a smart way to ensure sustainable and effective financial health. Once you finalize your goal for college savings and the necessary monthly contributions to get there, make sure to incorporate this information into your 2020 budget.

Automate Contributions

Automating your monthly NEST 529 account contributions is one of the most important steps you can take. Relieve the burden of remembering to contribute by using the Automatic Investment Plan or payroll direct deposit. Each of these options will make a pre-determined monthly contribution on your behalf, so that you never miss an opportunity to save. 

Make A Commitment

Although a great first step, saving for higher education doesn’t need to end with automating contributions. Opportunities abound to contribute to your NEST 529 account. Make a New Year’s commitment to allocate a portion of any tax return, expected raise, bonus or financial gift to your college savings.

Save with Scholarships

Savvy college savers should take advantage of everything that NEST 529 has to offer – including the numerous contests, giveaways and drawings that we sponsor throughout the year. With the opportunity to win NEST 529 contributions of up to $5,000, these scholarships are a prime example of ways to go above and beyond in your college savings journey. Stay up to date on new and running scholarships by following NEST 529 on Facebook, and visiting the NEST 529 Scholarship page.

As we jump into 2020, these are a few key ways to help ensure that your savings have the opportunity to thrive. If you have any questions regarding your account, contact the NEST 529 team at or by calling 1-888-993-3746.