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Turn Presents into Futures

Submitted by IDeal

For many families, the words “save” and “holidays” don’t usually go together. After all, it’s a time of year filled with travel, feasts, and gift-giving. All that fun can add up to a lot of spending!

On the flip side, this can be a perfect time to start discussing the future, and taking steps to begin saving for big dreams and goals such as education. IDeal – Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program was created to help Idaho families plan and save for higher education in a tax-advantaged way.

Here are some ideas to help turn presents into dreams this holiday season.

Initiate Smart Money 101 conversations with kids. During the holidays children may receive monetary gifts from family and will be excited to spend them. This is a great opportunity to help your children start developing smart money habits by encouraging them to save and perhaps even share a portion of their funds with a charity or important organization.

Make saving money a fun task rather than a chore for your children by helping them designate and decorate three jars for keeping their money safe, labeled “save,” “spend,” and “share.” Use the decorating time to talk about how earning and saving money is part of being grown up. Explain that the money your children save will be put into an account to help pay for their education dreams.

Ask for the gift of college savings. If you have friends or family who regularly give your child money for the holidays, or if your child has plenty of possessions, consider asking those loved ones to give the gift of college savings instead. We all need a little help with gift ideas from time to time and this requires no holiday shopping lines, batteries or gift receipts! It’s a gift that has the potential to grow with your child’s dreams.

Give a gift, take an Idaho state tax deduction. If you or a loved one contributes to your child’s IDeal account this year, it’s potentially an opportunity to save some money on taxes — a win-win!

All Idaho taxpayers can take a 2018 tax deduction (up to $6,000 for single filers and up to $12,000 for those who are married and filing jointly) for contributions to any IDeal–Idaho 529 College Savings Program account by December 31*.

Whether the goal is to be a firefighter, a teacher or a scientist, we encourage your family to dream big for the future this holiday season! Getting started only takes 15 minutes and $25 to set up an IDeal 529 College Savings account.

Learn more at

*Contributions to the IDeal–Idaho College Savings Program are deductible from Idaho state income tax, subject to recapture in certain circumstances, such as a non-qualified withdrawal or a rollover to another state’s qualified tuition program in the year of the rollover and the prior tax year

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