4. Teach your kids about money early. "Instill in children the importance of saving [for college], too, through their own earnings," says Stoops. That demonstrates the value your family places on higher education, and also teaches children how to save.
Parents can also demonstrate the importance of savings by setting a good example. "I brown-bagged my lunch, I never stop at Dunkin' Donuts, and when I do, it's a treat. My wife and I had those conversations over the years and it rubbed off on them," says LeFavor. With both his sons now financially independent and gainfully employed, his hard work appears to have paid off.
Kimberly Palmer is the author of the new book Generation Earn: The Young Professional's Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back .