Back-to-school season is here, and with Zelda officially starting preschool in October, I’ve got education and her future weighing heavy on my mind. I mean, if you live in the city, it is wildly alarming how much you pay for your child to go to school. Even when they’re really young!

After the reality of all of this hit, it made me think, how are parents supposed to do all of this? The expense is overwhelming even now, which is why Spiro and I have started making a financial plan to ensure Zelda has a magical future. Making sure we’re prepared for whatever path Zelda wants to pursue is important to us, so I want to share three quick things you can do to start saving for your child, too.

How to create a magical future for your child with COUNTRY Financial.

Start Small

If you ask me, this tip is the most important when it comes to realistically putting money away. If you set goals you know you can’t actually achieve, that can just create a sense of failure. And nobody needs that feeling weighing on them, so start small. Super small.

Even if your child is very young like Zelda, you better believe their 18th birthday will be here before you know it. Setting manageable, short-term goals will make sticking to your long-term savings plan much more doable. Then, after you blink and your child is heading off to college, you’ll be ready!

A little girl and a mermaid sit on the beach in this post about creating a magical future for your child with Country Financial.

Make a Plan and Find Balance

The truth is, I have no idea what Zelda is going to do with her future. She may not even go to college (gasp!). But the point is, we want to set Zelda up with a fund that’s used to grow herself as an individual, no matter what road she chooses. Maybe that’s through college, maybe it’s travel—I just don’t want her to ever feel limited on what she can do because of finances.

Because this is so important to us, Spiro and I have set up a plan to set aside X amount of dollars every month. We try to give ourselves a little grace because some months we can save more than others, but the long-term goal always remains the same.

We also have our move to Colorado to think about and all the expenses of relocation, and not to mention setting aside money for retirement as well, so again, grace with yourself is important. It’s all about finding a balance. We work with the folks over at COUNTRY Financial to help us figure out how to keep all of these things prioritized and I highly suggest it to anyone trying to get their financial ducks in a row.

Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles wears a pink and white top on the beach.

Teach Your Kids Simple Saving Lessons Early

Teaching Zelda the value of a dollar and giving her an understanding of money has always been a top priority for us. To teach her about saving and the cost of buying things, a few years ago I started Zelda’s Closet. Every quarter we go through her closet and sell items that no longer fit or she’s ready to part with. She’s been able to earn thousands from this!

Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles walks on the beach with a mermaid.

These are a few of the simple things we do in conjunction with us saving for Zelda’s magical future. We really try to involve her so she can see that this money is going towards her future. This way we are able to create a solid financial foundation for her to flourish as an individual.

This is just a little bit of our philosophy, but I hope it empowers you and helps you know that you can do something like this too. You don’t have to have a traditional viewpoint of “this is your university fund.” There are other things your child might need support with and as a parent, you want to be able to set them up for success no matter what path they choose.

Zelda wears a pink fur coat on the beach on Glitter and Bubbles.

So, save, save, save, save, and then get creative. Because it’s expensive out there! What simple steps are you taking to save for college or any other path your child decides to pursue?

Find out more about how COUNTRY Financial can help you achieve your financial goals.

Thank you to COUNTRY Financial for sponsoring this post. It’s partners like this that make documenting our journey possible.

Photos by Bonphotage