Ask any parent and they will say saving for college is not an easy task. However, a new mobile app aims to provide parents and their kids with an informed perspective on saving for their education.
American Century Investments in Kansas City is the administrator for Big Start, the first mobile app of its kind available through the Learning Quest 529 Plan and the office of Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes.
Big Start is targeted for parents of children up to 6 years old and has cartoons that will capture their attention. But more than anything, the app looks to teach children about the importance of not only saving for their college education but what it takes to get through college, too.
American Century says the app is just a different way to reach out to people.
With its interactive program, it leads the child through their future, how to plan and even makes them a part of it all. The app is part of the state of Kansas' Learning Quest 529 savings plan.
Stacey Belford with American Century Investments says the app goes beyond the average app.
"The purpose of the app really is just to get families excited about saving for college," Belford said. "We know that people can get overwhelmed about the big numbers associated with how much college is going to cost, and they don't know where to start."
The app's purpose is also to educate the parent on the importance of starting early when it comes to saving for their child's education.
"It is just a different way to reach out to people," Belford said. "Financial literacy is something that the investment industry, and specifically the 529 industry, have a vested interest in."
The app is the first of three apps American Century is working on to change the way people think about investing. Their philosophy - little by little you can build a large nest.
The app features four interactive sections that appeal to kids' learning styles. These include:
Little By Little – This section illustrates how taking small steps can help accomplish big goals, like saving for college. Kids can listen to a narrator read the book, activate animations with sound effects and learn how to say "little by little" phrases in Spanish, French, Korean, Hawaiian and Swahili.
What Is Money? – The concept of money can be difficult to grasp as a child, but "What is Money" teaches kids the basics of money and how to earn it.
When I Grow Up – It's never too early to start thinking about the future. "When I Grow Up" helps kids start to think about what they want to be and the schooling it will take to get there.
Save, Share, Spend – Learning how to save can be daunting for anyone regardless of age. This section introduces kids and their parents to a tested model for reaching savings goals.
The app is available for download from both iTunes and Google Play for Android smart phones.
For more information on the Learning Quest 529 savings program, click here.
For more infomation on Missour's 529 college savings plan, click here.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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