Randy sent his eldest daughter an email that included the annual cost of her cellphone, $500, and the cost to fix the family van that she drives, $3,000. He also mentioned auto insurance costs. The Barrons believe it helps their children choose career fields to study with enough potential income that they could support a family.
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4. Share 529 plan statements: The Barrons show each daughter her 529 plan statement every quarter. They want their children to know how their contributions have added up.
Middle daughter Morgan has nearly $5,000 in her account. About $2,000 came from her contributions, $2,000 from her parents' matching funds and $1,000 from investment earnings.
"When children know there's money set aside for college, it raises the expectations they have in themselves," Ellis says. They can see how their money grows, and that now they need to get good grades and apply themselves.
Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for College center.