So when Kyle was in the first grade and I was working at a local elementary school, I opened him up a savings account and also began a small account to put money away towards his education. Sometimes I can put $100.00 a month away, sometimes it's only $5.00-$10.00. But at least it's something. You'd be surprised just how quickly these seemingly insignificant amounts add up. Plus, for a long-term account like a college fund, the interest gained long term can be pretty substantial, as well.
I should have started this account for him when he was a baby, as his financial buffer would be much larger by now. I kind of kick myself for not having the foresight when he was little to actually take action sooner than later! Now I have 2 more babies, and they already have their own interest bearing juvenile bank accounts. We contribute a small amount to each account every week. By the time they turn 18, that will help to give them a nice start in life as they venture out into the real world.
Another thing we're looking into is making investments for the children. In the current economic nightmare we're facing, it sounds like it may be risky to buy stocks, but there are still companies that are doing well and will continue to do well, so as the economy improves, these investments would have the potential to grow substantially. We're considering buying some stocks in the company my husband works for. They've been around forever, and are a globally prosperous company. Maybe once we get our tax return, we'll do that if we can afford to.
There are many different ways to help kids get off to a great start. Have you done these things for your children? Do you have any other tips? I'd love to hear about it!