How to Enjoy Summer While Saving for College with a NY 529 Plan

Did you know? 529 beneficiaries can attend college in any state, not just the state where the plan was opened. So if our countless visits to the Poconos makes one of the girls want to attend college in Pennsylvania, that’s no problem (especially since it’s within driving distance to mom!)

We all know that quote floating around social media that reminds us that we only have 18 summers with our kids and to make each one count. I’ve seen it 100 times by now, and each time it still hits me just as hard as the first. Especially since I’m down to 6 summers with my 12 year old. While the day she goes off to college is always in the back of my mind, I do my best to live in the now and create memories that will last my kids a lifetime. And thanks to the NY’s 529 College Savings Program that I opened for her, it’s a lot easier to feel okay about splurging once in a while to make memories.

What is a 529 College Savings Program? It’s a type of investment account used for higher-education savings. 529 plans are usually sponsored by states and your earnings grow federally tax-deferred. Qualified withdrawals are tax-free, and some states (like New York) have other tax benefits too.

Anyone can open a 529 account—parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, even friends-as long as they are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien. Once you open the account, you’ll pick investments, assign a beneficiary, and determine how the money is used.

Did you know? There are no income restrictions to open a #529 account

62% of adults say they remember childhood trips more clearly than birthdays

Our summer adventures don’t have to break the bank- some of our best days so far this summer have been glamping in the Poconos with cousins, long days at the beach, and fun indoor dates like bowling. This summer we chose not to commit to camps or classes, and simply go where the wind takes us. When I told my cousin about our experience glamping a few months back, she thought it would be a great idea to go together. So we booked two tents and headed back to the Poconos. Those s’more making and river exploring memories with their cousins will be sure to last them a lifetime.

Speaking of family, friends and family can contribute to your 529 account simply by using a special Ugift code-which makes a great gift for birthdays or holidays rather than more uneeded toys. Learn more info here.

Also, a 529 account can be used to pay for qualified higher-education expenses at any eligible educational institution, including postsecondary trade and vocational schools, 2- and 4-year colleges, and postgraduate programs. And yes, it can be used to pay for anything that’s considered a qualified higher-education expense, like tuition, books, supplies, equipment, certain room and board fees, and more.

Did you know? Should Briana end up with a full scholarship to college, her plan can be transferred to her little sister Gia

So as July ends and our last month of summer begins, I’m going to cherish the rest of my 12th and 6th summer with my girls- whether it be a weekend camping with friends, or just lazy days sitting poolside. College expenses are always going to be a concern, but I’m so glad that the NY 529 plan at least eases my mind so that I can focus on what matters most- the summers that I have left.

For even more in depth information on the 529 plan and to see if it makes sense for you, check out this post we shared last year after spending an afternoon with representatives from NY 529.

For more information, visit

You can also check out NY 529 on Facebook, Twitter, or by following along with the hashtag #NY529 to see what others are saying about the program.

Compensation was provided by NY 529 Direct via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of NY 529 Direct or Momtrends.

Investments in the plan are subject to risk.

Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in that state’s 529 plan.

The Comptroller of the State of New York and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation are the Program Administrators and are responsible for implementing and administering the Direct Plan. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc., serves as Program Manager and, in connection with its affiliates, provides recordkeeping and administrative support services and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Direct Plan. The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as the Investment Manager. Vanguard Marketing Corporation markets, distributes, and underwrites the Direct Plan.

No guarantee: None of the State of New York, its agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), The Vanguard Group, Inc., Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc., nor any of their applicable affiliates insures accounts or guarantees the principal deposited therein or any investment returns on any account or investment portfolio.

New York’s 529 College Savings Program currently includes two separate 529 plans. The Direct Plan is sold directly by the Program. You may also participate in the Advisor Plan, which is sold exclusively through financial advisors and has different investment options and higher fees and expenses as well as financial advisor compensation.

For more information about New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan, obtain a Disclosure Booklet and Tuition Savings Agreement at or by calling 1-877-NYSAVES. This includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information. You should read and consider them carefully before investing.

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