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

The New Year is an exciting time –an opportunity to hit “reset” as well as reflect on the past year to make improvements for the new one.  As we look ahead to 2020, I encourage you to make a financial resolution to help your child achieve his or her dreams for higher education with the NEST 529 College Savings Plan.

Making a resolution is easy, however sticking with it can often be difficult. With retirement planning, holiday and general life expenses, everyday tasks can certainly add up, and extra savings may not seem like an attainable reality. I am here to assure you that with the right planning and tools, you can find room for college savings in the New Year.

Start with these recommendations to help make higher education goals and dreams a reality, and to help lessen the need for loans – for you and your child. You may find that you are able to contribute more than you think without breaking the bank, and that maximizing your savings isn’t as difficult as it may sound.

Create a Game Plan

Do you have a college savings strategy in place, or does your current strategy need to be revamped? Speak with your loved ones and map out a plan for all things higher education related – from the costs and what you are hoping to cover to academic steps your child will need to take to get into their dream school. Even if your child is young and his or her future seems far away, time flies quicker than you may think.

Make sure to reevaluate your plan and make adjustments as necessary on a regular basis. The NEST 529 Savings Calculator can help you estimate the costs of higher education based on your child’s age, and how much you will need to save each month to make sure you are staying on track. 

Pad Your Account with Extra Savings

Did you spend less than you originally planned on your holiday gift list? Or are you expecting a large tax return this year? Consider putting these extra funds into your NEST 529 account. Not only will this pay off in the long run, but these additional contributions may even offer you tax advantages.

Utilize NEST 529 Scholarships  

What’s better than a free NEST 529 account contribution? A free NEST 529 account contribution that’s also a chance to share the savings journey with the whole family. Every year, NEST 529 offers many scholarship opportunities to help boost Account Owners’ savings. For the full list of opportunities and information, visit the NEST 529 Scholarship page.

Tap into Your Networks

Still feeling overwhelmed by the process? Not to worry – your networks can offer you lots of support. From programs such as NEST@Work, to tapping into loved ones for holiday and celebration gifting, there are many avenues you can turn to for support and information.

Your college savings journey does not have to be one you go through alone, and the NEST 529 team is here for you every step of the way to offer guidance and answer any questions you may have.

I wish all of you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year, and encourage you to stick with and achieve all of your resolutions. Happy savings and wishing you a prosperous 2020. If you have any questions regarding your account, contact the NEST 529 team at or by calling 1-888-993-3746.