COLUMBIA (WACH) - Pete and Sharon Bynum are the proud parents of two daughters.
Their oldest, Ashley, is a junior at Winthrop University. While college has been a huge success, getting there wasn't easy.
"We knew for years when she first started talking about college how expensive it was, we talked about setting money aside but never did," said Pete Bynum.
Like most families, the Bynum's took out loans and Ashley applied for grants. Ashley is now a year away from graduating and that has the family preparing for their seven-year-old Madison's future.
"Wish we had taken advantage of college saving programs that they have. We really need to start saving for the seven-year-old now," said Sharon Bynum.
Robin Arnold, with Palmetto Citizens Trust and Investment Services says there are many options for preparing for your child's education, but before choosing a plan you have to simply start saving.
"Not all of us can afford to set aside $500.00 a month, but if you can do $50.00 a month for ten years you're going to be in better shape," said Arnold.
Arnold says one of the most popular options is the 529 college savings plan. It allows you to invest the cash as it grows and it won't be taxed.
Arnold stresses your savings is just one portion of funding your child's college education.
"Think of it as one brick in a wall that has many bricks, your savings, financial aid, scholarships, your own income and the child's income all of that will contribute towards the ultimate cost," added Arnold.
As the Bynums prepare to see Ashley graduate next year saving for there seven-year-old's education is now a top priority.