Turn holiday cash gifts into a college savings plan

Being a parent gives you the opportunity to watch your child grow and be proud of their accomplishments. That opportunity also comes with a great responsibility to provide. My husband and I have already taken steps to start a savings plan for our daughter but with a second baby on the way, the significance of starting early has increased. As part of a sponsored campaign by Find Your Influence and AZ529, I’m sharing how we’ve turned holiday cash gifts into a college savings plan that continues to grow each year.


Graduating from college is one of my proudest accomplishments. I grew up in a small town where going to college didn’t feel like a priority. While I had plenty of support along the way, resistance and challenges were also present. Many years later my husband and I are now expecting our second child thinking about how our children will one day attend college too. I knew from the moment I saw my first daughter watching her grow would be a magical experience. 


At six years old, her biggest concern is usually what she’s having for breakfast and if she gets to the playground in time to swing before school each morning. She has so many interests and I’ve truly enjoyed watching her grow a love for reading. She enjoys school and reading at home is a favorite activity. 


From just a baby she has been completely in awe of marine animals and loves the opportunity to learn about them. At just five years old, she became the very first child contributor to the SeaWorld blog and couldn’t be more proud of herself. 

Behind the scenes look at sharks, SeaWorld San Diego

While she has many friends her own age, our dog Sophie and her cat Toby are currently favorite friends. 


As we watch her grow, I’m always wondering how her interests will change. We talk to her often about college and right now all that means to her is that one day she’ll go to a bigger school to learn more. As my husband and I are seeing the increases in the cost of college tuition, to us that means we need to continue growing her college savings fund. Starting early has been key for us and although she is only in kindergarten, her college savings plan is off to a great start. By using the AZ529 plan, we have been contributing to a plan that grows. Although the plan is associated to your current state, it can be used for college in any state. Your contributions are tax deductible and relatives are able to contribute directly instead of sending you cash gifts, making it a tax deductible contribution for them also.

3 easy ways to contribute to a college savings plan

1) Take the first step and open an AZ529

2) Download a free college savings planner to learn how to effectively use the AZ529 plan to contribute to your child’s education.

3) Save and deposit all holiday cash gifts to the plan. My daughter receives cash and checks from relatives for her birthday and other holiday gifts. Instead of spending on toys and other material items, we have added the cash gifts to her college savings plan. The account is quickly growing and has not been a financial hardship for us to continue contributing.

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What are you doing to start a college savings plan for your child(ren)?

Every family is different, but every child needs an education. Visit AZ529 to learn how you can contribute to a child’s future education and receive valuable tax breaks.

Learn more about the AZ529 plan by connecting on Facebook.

#AZ529 #AZCollegeSavings

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