When people become parents they need to plan for their children’s futures. In the short term that’s things like clothes and diapers, food and toys, but the looming specter of college is always there in the back of their minds. How much do parents need to save for college, though, that’s the real question.
Fortunately it’s possible to download a college cost savings excel spreadsheet that will do all of the math for parents, and at the same time help them keep track of the goal.
College Cost Savings Template
The way this spreadsheet works is actually fairly self-explanatory. Parents enter the amount of money that it will cost to complete college, and the sheet then comes up with the amount of money that will need to be saved over the long term in order to get enough together for the total sticker price of the education that was entered. All of the formulas are pre-entered, meaning that there’s no heavy lifting for the calculations; just plug and play.
Future Costs and Accurate Information
It’s important to remember that the calculations done by an excel sheet are only as good as the information provided. So, if parents plug in the costs of college today, and save with that in mind, then the calculations will be accurate based on the time that they began. However, as college costs go up and down, it’s important that the changes be noted and the sheet updated so that parents maintain an accurate image of what they’re saving for.
If that goal isn’t adjusted for increases in costs though, then parents will be using outdated information and the sheet will be giving a strategy that’s accurate based on the facts it has, but which will still not be very helpful for parents’ real world planning.