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The Gift of Education – How Family and Friends Can Contribute to Your Child’s Savings for Birthdays and Holidays

Jan. 20, 2019 – Woodside, NEW YORK

By Carmen

Holiday and birthday spending: One extra present or one extra deposit?

My son is a first grader at PS 361, where I would say the biggest holidays he and his classmates celebrate are Eid, Christmas, and Chinese New Year. As parents, we all know that holidays are times of big celebration and also big spending. In our household, it’s Christmas.

We know the magic feeling of Christmas and seeing our kids eyes light up with the celebration, time with family, and of course they don’t mind if there is a new toy or two. As parents we probably also know the feeling of January 3, when we see that new toy pushed to the side, already “old news”, and it just makes us wonder, was it worth it? Birthday presents can also lead to that same question.

One thing to help us answer that question is to rearrange some of our holiday and birthday spending. We still do parties and presents. But, we can also make a choice to cut a few gifts and make our money work through savings. On the top of most parents’ mind is making sure their kids have all the best opportunities for their future, and for most of us that means education. When it comes to saving for college, every little bit counts.

The Save for College Program – A tool to help us save

PS 361 is part of District 30, and that makes us the very lucky district that is (right now) the only one in New York City with a special program to both help our families save and to invest scholarship money for our kids. The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program allows us to open our own college savings account to deposit money in line with our budget and financial plan. It also gives a way for our communities to contribute to our child’s college savings so we can build up more money for their educational expenses.

The 3 Building Blocks are just the first steps in that long-term partnership to save together. Many of us have met and worked with the team at NYC Kids RISE, and they are just a pleasure to work with.

How family can help you save on holidays and birthdays

Holidays and birthdays are times when families come together. While celebrating, family members can also help prepare for your child’s education.

If you set up a 529 account through the Save for College Program, friends and family can make a deposit into that account in two ways. One is through something called Ugift®*.

If you login to your 529 account, you will see your Ugift® code. Feel free to share that code with your family and friends – it’s totally secure! When people go to the Ugift® website, they put in that code, they put in their account details (you can use one of your checks in your checkbook) and you’re done!  

If your family doesn’t want to make the deposit online, they can mail a check. Read these FAQs on managing your account to find the information about where they can mail the check. (If you don’t have a 529 account and want to open one, NYC Kids RISE can help!)

If you have an Amalgamated Save for College Bank Account, family and friends can deposit into that account by dropping off a check at an Amalgamated Bank branch or sending it in the mail. Click here to find an Amalgamated branch near you

For more ways to save for college and career training throughout the year, check out this information from NYC Kids RISE.

Carmen is the parent of a first-grade student at PS 361 The Woodside Community School

*Ugift® is a registered service mark of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC.

The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a scholarship and savings program administered by NYC Kids RISE, Inc., a nonprofit, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York. NYC Kids RISE is neither affiliated with, nor an authorized distributor of, New York’s 529 College Savings Program and does not solicit investments or provide investment advice. The City of New York and the NYC Department of Education offer no endorsement or recommendation about, and do not control, own or are affiliated with the program manager for New York’s 529 College Savings Program and any particular college savings or other investment vehicle, including ones which families may learn about through the Save for College Program.

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