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When Should I Start Planning and Saving for My Child’s College Tuition?

Rachel Cruze

Money, Jobs, & College

Q: When should I start planning and saving for my child’s college tuition?

Rachel: Get out of debt first. Once you’re out of debt and have three to six months of expenses saved in an emergency fund, then you can start saving for things like retirement and college.

By getting out of debt first, you’ll be able to fully focus on saving a ton of money for your kid’s college fund. If your child is older and getting closer to heading off to school, she may have to pitch in by working and applying for as many scholarships and grants as possible. There’s nothing wrong with that.

When looking for a plan, make sure you talk with a financial advisor about an ESA or a 529 plan. College funding is very important, but get out of debt first! I can’t emphasize that enough.

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Rachel Cruze

Growing up as Dave Ramsey's kid, Rachel Cruze learned the basic principles of money at an early age. She travels across the country teaching those same principles, in a personal and passionate message of money and hope, to teens and young adults. To find out more about Rachel, visit or follow her on Twitter at @RachelCruze.