This post is in collaboration with ScholarShare. All opinions are mine.
When my son was born sixteen years ago, I had it all figured out. I started a college savings account, put him in an expensive nursery program and pretty much mapped out his academic life. That's what you do when you assume you have control over the future.
Life brought about a lot of change. We moved cross-country. I went through divorce. I changed careers. My TMJ disorder was a lot more expensive this time around. My entire life changed. Our entire life changed. Needless to say, saving for my son's college became harder and harder. I figured we would just manage when the day came.
My health is stronger, my second career has taken off and I'm very, very settled into our little community. I can finally start adding to that college savings I always wanted for my son. He's in the 10th grade and thinking about what he wants to do with his life. His goal is to attend a film school or a college that offers programs geared toward that industry. But, who knows? That may change. Either way, I want him to have a cushion to help get him started.
I've heard about ScholarShare through work. They were actually sponsors for #WeAllGrow Summit, and they're returning again this year. They just launched a campaign called “Start Small” along with statewide “Start Small. Dream Big.” events. To celebrate this new program, California’s 529 College Savings Plan, announced that they will help California families start their college savings efforts by offering up to $10,000 in college savings through the “Start Small. Dream Big.” events.
If you live in California, ScholarShare’s first “Start Small. Dream Big.” event will be held this Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 from 12 – 1:30 p.m at the Westfield Santa Anita in Arcadia. California parents and grandparents can enter for a chance to win up to $1,000 in college savings while the kids enjoy themselves with free snacks, entertainment and fun activities. Each entrant may submit one entry form during the sweepstakes period. The sweepstakes period will close at 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Winners will be announced live at each event. See rules here.
Saving for college can be an overwhelming challenge for many families. Like I said, you may have had the best intentions of saving when the kids were little but life changes. But if we take it day by day, one bit at at time, it will add up in time. Even if you save up enough for books, that's a huge relief. I went to art school, and I can recall spending a lot on supplies. I can only imagine that if my son goes to film school, there will be a lot of expenses on not only tuition, but books and equipment.
If you're not close to this weekend's event location, head over to ScholarShare to learn who you can start small and dream big!