Author: Rachel Biar, Assistant State Treasurer

Parades, parties and barbeques are on the horizon as we approach Labor Day Weekend. As you kick off your shoes and enjoy the last days of summer fun with family and friends, remember that this landmark weekend not only marks the end of the season, but the start of National College Savings Month.

Every September, we commemorate the importance of saving for higher education. This is the perfect time to consider your finances and savings efforts—are you setting and meeting your higher education savings goals?

Throughout the month, we challenge you to keep saving for your child’s future at the forefront of your mind. Here are steps we encourage you to take:

  1. Do your research and set goals: After deciding to prioritize saving for your child’s education, the next step is to research the costs you’ll likely face and set your savings goals. To do this, use our  NEST Direct College Savings Planning Calculator. This helpful tool provides an in-depth, personalized look at the total projected education costs in your time frame and the estimated monthly savings you’ll need to meet those goals—creating a college savings report unique to your family’s needs.
  2. Open an account: Select an Investment Option that reflects your risk tolerance, time frame and savings goals. If your strategy ever changes, you have the flexibility to change your Investment Option twice per calendar year.
  3. Remember that a little goes a long way: Challenge yourself to cut back on small costs this month—after all, they add up. For example, by skipping your local coffee shop in the morning before work, you could save over $60 (assuming 21 work days and a $3.00 coffee). Instead, put this money towards your child’s NEST 529 Plan.

4.Reward yourself: Saving for higher education is something you should be proud of. When you reach savings milestones, reward yourself—without breaking your budget. Have an at-home movie night with your family or spend a Saturday at the park with your children.  

On behalf of the NEST 529 Plan team, happy College Savings Month. We are here to help with any questions you may have. Contact our team with any questions or concerns at or by calling 1-888-993-3746.