Author: Terry Severson, Director, Savings Plans Marketing, First National Bank of Omaha

The new year is the perfect opportunity to create better savings habits. As you ring in 2018 and begin implementing your New Year’s resolutions, consider using these strategies to help refresh your finances and start the year off on the right foot:

  • Lay out your plan: Any effective resolution requires an action plan. Identify what exactly you want to accomplish this year. Contributing to your NEST 529 account more regularly? Increasing your regular contributions? No matter what your goal is, write it down—you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
  • Track your progress: Keep a record of your spending habits and continuously evaluate where you stand relative to your goals, making adjustments as necessary. Spending too much on dinners out? Try cooking at home more often, and allocate the extra money you save to your child’s college fund.
  • Use your resources: Be sure to take advantage of savings opportunities whenever possible. This includes setting aside extra money for college from tax returns or pay raises, and turning in your FAFSA forms as early as possible. In addition, make sure you check out NEST 529 scholarships and giveaways.  
  • Shop smarter: If you aren’t already enrolled, sign up for rewards programs at your local supermarket and community shops. Don’t forget to compare prices and clip coupons—these are all easy methods of cutting costs on everyday purchases.
  • Automate your savings: One of the simplest ways to stay on track is to make your contributions automatic, rendering it more convenient than ever to save for higher education. Our Automatic Investment Plan and Payroll Direct Deposit are great options for those looking to put their savings on autopilot—just set it and forget it, and watch your savings grow.

On behalf of all of us at the NEST 529 College Savings Plan, Happy New Year! We look forward to helping you achieve your savings goals in 2018. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions at, or send us a message on Facebook.