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teen girl with her greenlight investing goal for college

Here’s why it’s time to think about college savings

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Dream big. Raise your hand if this sounds familiar! ✋ Here’s the thing: Big dreams often need big savings goals — especially college. We’re here to tell you that the earlier you start saving, the better. And get this: With investing, you have the chance to grow your money and really reach for the stars.

The average cost of college in the United States is $35,720 per student per year (!!!!!).

Don’t sweat it. Time is on your side. With a little planning and a lot of smart money moves, you can put compound growth to work now, so you can help pay for college later. Follow these steps to set yourself up for success.

Earn money

To save money, you need money to save. Step one: Lock in a way to earn money. If you’re old enough (and your parents are cool with it), apply for a seasonal or part-time job. Work experience is a great addition to your resume for college applications. 

If you’re not old enough to get a job — that’s OK! Talk to your parents about ways you can help around the house or the neighborhood to earn some extra money. Oh, and don’t forget to log in to your Greenlight app to keep track of chores, allowance and any other money coming in.

Set a college savings goal

Set a long-term savings goal for college in your app — and don’t be shy. Aim high! With handy tools like Round Ups and Cash Back, you can make every penny count. You can also team up with your parents to learn about savings rewards with Parent-Paid Interest.

graphic showing annual cost of college

Start investing

Investing gives you a chance to build wealth because it historically moves upward over time. There’s a greater chance you can make money from your investments if you give them time to grow.

Let’s break it down. Say you start with $100. You invest that $100 and also contribute $5 a week for 10 years. If your account grows 13.6%* annually, you’ll have $5,913 (with $3,213 made from earnings!). Woah. That’s a big jump from $100 — thanks to the power of compounding.

A side note on student loans: The average college student borrows more than $30,000 to attend school. In the same way that compound returns can work for you when you’re earning, it can work against you when you’re borrowing money. Compound interest on student loans adds to your total debt over time. That’s why it’s important to learn smart saving habits now.

mother and daughter with their greenlight investing goals

Investing with Greenlight

Ready to crush your college savings goal? Log in to your app so you and your parents can research stocks together. You can start investing with fractional shares and ETFs for as little as $1. 

Remember, you don’t have to be a Wall Street whiz to make smart investment decisions. We’ve got your back. In your Dashboard, you’ll find investing research, education and insights.

Now, it’s your turn to dream big. Set your long-term college savings goal in your Greenlight app and keep your sights set on your bright financial future. 

*Rate of return chosen based on S&P 500 historic 10 year average.

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