Here at CollegeCounts, we love January. It’s a time full of positive thinking and healthy activity, whether you’re pledging to exercise more and eat better or be more productive in your career goals.

It’s also a time when so many people commit themselves to financial goals. That’s where we come in (hopefully).

If you’re raising a little one or two (or more!), college may seem a long way away. But if you ask any older parents, it really sneaks up on you—which means starting early is valuable and important.

And starting early means starting now.

Not sure where to begin? We’ve got four New Year’s Resolution suggestions for parents at different stages of their savings journey. Now go and get started today!

Start By Opening an Account

The prospect of opening a 529 account may seem intimidating at first. Thankfully, with CollegeCounts, it’s easy. It only takes a few minutes to enroll online, or you can print out your enrollment form and mail it in. You can even consult the expertise of an investment professional with our Advisor Plan. No matter how you take your first step, never forget that it’s the most important one.

Start Contributing Regularly (and Automatically)

Once your account is open, making regular contributions is an easy way to build funds for future college expenses. Even as little as $25 per paycheck can add up to a nice sum of funds for your children years from now. And when you set up electronic contributions through our Automatic Investment Plan, you won’t even have to think about it.

Have you been contributing regularly to your CollegeCounts account for months, or even years now? That’s wonderful, and we commend you—but maybe it’s time to step it up! Consider increasing your automatic contributions or contributing additional funds when you receive a raise or bonus at work. You might even consider investing a portion of your tax refund in your CollegeCounts account.

Ask Friends and Family for Gift Contributions

Gift contributions from loved ones are a great way to add additional funds to your account—whether it’s a special occasion or just because. Sure, you may be a few weeks too late for Christmas, but there might be a birthday (or a graduation) coming up. CollegeCounts GiftED is our online gift-giving feature that makes it easier for grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, and everyone in between to contribute! Log into your account and select “GiftED” to send email invitations to any loved ones who may want to help your beneficiary achieve their college goals.

Apply for a CollegeCounts 529 Rewards Visa® Card

If you love the ease of an Automatic Investment Plan, then you’ll love the benefits of the CollegeCounts 529 Rewards Visa® Card.

With this card, you’ll earn 1.529% on everyday purchases just by spending—that’s all you have to do! Every time you accumulate $50 or more in rewards, the funds will automatically be transferred to your CollegeCounts 529 account, all without you having to lift a finger. If you use your card regularly, you could end up with extra dollars in your account every year. Apply for your CollegeCounts 529 Rewards Visa® Card today.

We wish you a Happy New Year, and best of luck with all of your New Year’s Resolutions!