It's funny how sometimes I have tons of things I want to blog about, and sometimes I can't really think of anything. Go figure. Lately I've had so many things to share. But I like to talk about Boo too. So I'm going to do both. Give my Boo update first, then my topic.
I have been shopping a lot lately, mostly online. Old Navy sends a $10 gift card because I used my credit card. So I spent $90 on Boo. I needed to get him another sweater. Then I saw the Valentine's shirts, jammies, and shoes that were too cute to pass up. He's my little model. He looks seriously cute every day. I'm going to have to put up his 9 month clothes. The sleeves are too short. Otherwise, they fit fine. I saw that Gap sells nursing clothes! They have it hidden under the maternity section. Why would I look under "Maternity" if I am nursing?? But I googled nursing shirts and found it. I like the nursing tops that are easy to open up without getting undressed. I usually do a tank and a regular shirt, but I need some new tops, and nursing ones are nice. Lately Boo is attached to my boob 24/7. He digs in my shirt all the time. He doesn't care where we are. For a while he wouldn't nurse away from home because there was too much going on. Now he will, which is fine, but nursing tops will be nice. Hopefully they will be cute. I got some new pants too. I need to start looking a little nicer at work. With it being so cold here lately, I wear skinny blue jeans, plain long sleeved shirt, hoodie sweater, tall furry boots. So today I dressed up a little more. I shopped in my closet and found some pants I have saved for 5 years that I never thought I would fit into!
Last night, Nathan gave Boo his bath and put him to sleep while I took a bath. Yay for Daddy night!
Now for my topic: college savings. We started Boo's college savings plan a few months ago. We have a 529 savings account that is in mostly mutual funds. I did a lot of research before choosing this one. It's on www.texascollegesavings.com. It was so easy to set up. Of course you should look into your own state's plan first. I don't remember all of the rules, but the website is a good place to start. The money we invest is after-tax, meaning the income taxes have already been paid on that money. When we take money out of the account for educational purposes, no taxes have to be paid, similar to a Roth IRA. So there are some significant savings to using this type of account. If the money is used for non-educational purposes there is a 10% penalty plus income taxes must be paid on the earnings. BUT, the account can be transferred into another person's name in your family - like another child, niece, nephew, grandchild, yourself, if that child does not go to college. If the child gets a scholarship, you can take out the money, pay income taxes, not pay the penalty, and get the amount of money out that the scholarship was for. If the child is disabled or dies (God forbid), you can get your money without penalty. I like to think that some descendant of mine will go to college one day! So I think this is a great option. I strongly encourage every parent to start a college savings plan of some kind. There are lots of options. There are savings account for minors, gift account, pre-paid tuition 529s. Do something to start saving. I didn't like the pre-paid because, thought it sounds like a great deal, usually the stock market rate of return is better than the rate of tuition increases. Tuition increases about 5% per year, over time, the stock market gets 7-8% or better.
Find out what your state offers. Start saving!! Even if it's $20 a month. Even if it's $10 a month and once a year put the money your child gets for birthday/Christmas. Even if your child is about to go to college now, start saving, and you can use that money for his/her senior year.
We are doing $100 a month, and we made a $150 donation of money Chesley got for his birthday and Christmas.