How To Not Suck… At Saving For College

(This is Part One of a two-part feature on paying for an education. Part Two looks at the best way to borrow for college.)

Next to a home purchase, sending your kids to college may be the biggest expense of your lifetime. And like all things money, this one is easy to screw up. [More]

Consumer Reports picks top 529 plans. If you have a little spare cash to squirrel away for college, you’ve probably given some thought to those state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 plans. But with over 50 to choose from, where do you start? How about right here, with some tips from the Consumer Reports Money Lab. The blue-coated boffins picked their five fave funds, paying particular attention to those that offered “below-average fees and an investment strategy that was sufficiently aggressive in the early stages and appropriately conservative later on.” Oh, and parents, here’s another tip: You can usually change the beneficiary on a plan to another family member. So, if you were saving for Johnny and he goes deadbeat after high school, you can pass his cash along to Janie. Or just use it for yourself. Admit it: you always wanted to ditch it all and go to film school, right? [Consumer Reports Money Adviser]

Give The Gift Of College For Your Next Birthday Party

Give The Gift Of College For Your Next Birthday Party

Thanks to state-sponsored 529 plans, friends and family can finally contribute to college savings funds without drowning under long forms and boring paperwork.