Preparation and Freedom ~ T. Rowe Price’s 529 College Savings Plan

When we found out our first baby was going to be a boy, my friends and family giggled. I have always leaned toward calmer, less risky activities. Being raised in a house full of girls, it was pretty easy to avoid things like climbing trees, wrestling, and, well, anything that could cause an injury. Everyone (including me) was certain I would have trouble keeping up with a boy. Luckily that little boy knew just how to get me comfortable with all those rough and tumble boy traits I’d heard so much about.

Big M figured out the army crawl at 4 months and by 5 months was into everything. He started walking (or should I say running) at 7 months. While I did get plenty of hugs and cuddles, sitting with Mommy was not on his to-do list. He was off to explore, and there was no stopping him.

I learned very quickly that the best way for me to help him grow, encourage his independence, and allow him to learn about the world around him was to be proactive and prepared. My favorite past time became watching the reactions of those same giggly friends as my tiny baby raced around with no fear. It was me who reassured them, “He’s fine and every time he stumbles he learns how get up even faster.”

I don’t have many pictures of him moving. (I was busy chasing!) You can see how little he was in this one though. Ahhh so long ago!

Over these past seven years, Big M has reminded me again and again that the best way I can provide him with the freedom he needs to learn and create is to set up his environment with options… and then let him go.

As he gets older, preparation and freedom will be just as important as they were to that itty bitty explorer. We can set him up for success in so many ways: emotionally, socially, educationally and financially. If we take the time to prepare, he will have the freedom to make choices when he becomes a young man. (As much as I don’t want to think about that… I know it will come so quickly.)

T. Rowe Price offers a College Saving Plan perfect for getting parents set up to offer just those types of freedoms to their kids.

What I love about T. Rowe Price’s 529 College Savings Plan

~Savings can be used at nearly any college in the country.

~Anyone can contribute to an account. (Think birthday presents for the kids who have EVERYTHING!)

~You decide how much to invest and which investment options to choose.

~You can open an account with as little as $250 or a $50 recurring contribution.

Visit the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan site to learn how to get started.

How do you prepare your little one’s environment to encourage independence?


The T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan is offered by the Education Trust of Alaska. You should compare this plan with any 529 college savings plan offered by your home state or your beneficiary’s home state and consider, before investing, any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in the home state’s plan. Please read the Plan’s Disclosure Document which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, charges and expenses, and other information. You should read the Plan Disclosure Document carefully before investing. For other important legal information, please read the Plan’s Privacy Policy. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter.



  1. says

    What fabulous pictures (we have the same problem with T being very independent she’s more likely to climb the tree than J is). I give both J and T freedom to be independent but always being their for them. This afternoon we’ve done Mummy follow me at the woods – T has taken the lead and I’ve followed her an hour of walking around in circles but she was in charge being indepent in the lead.

  2. says

    Ah! 7 months really? I thought Henry was so early at 8.5 months! He seemed so tiny running around!

    As much as I’m ‘hands on’ with the boys, I think it helps them think and do things independently better. It builds their confidence as well as their knowledge to do things on their own.

    • says

      8.5! Sounds like we were in the same boat. 😉 I agree that being hands on offers kids the support and confidence they need to feel prepared to be independent.

  3. Nina says

    I encourage my son’s independence by letting him play by himself with me nearby. He’ll for instance work on his coloring or cutting paper and knows he just has to ask for help if he needs it.

    That’s great you’ve got a 529 set up for your kiddo. We have ours with Vanguard and have been happy with them as well.

  4. says

    What a busy boy!

    All four of our kids have small 529 accounts set up. I like that you can use the account for someone else, if the need arises – say a child gets a full ride to college, wouldn’t that be awesome? :)

  5. says

    I like to do a little child’s-eye audit of our play space every so often, especially when they are very young and developing so quickly. Just little changes like moving toys into reach, putting coat hooks lower down and providing a step up to the counters in the kitchen can make so much difference to encouraging them to try new things and start to gain their independence.

    • says

      I love those ideas Cathy! Moving coat hooks and setting up the counters in the kitchen are brilliant ways to get little ones doing things on their own. :)

  6. says

    My youngest was walking at about 8-9 months and there has been no stopping her ever since. She is full speed ahead. It’s hard to just let her “be” sometimes. I want to slow her down, protect her. It’s a battle I fight within myself often. I try hard not to stifle her but it’s such a contrast to my oldest who is very deliberate and a thinker. It always amazes me how 2 children from the same parents and household can be so different.

    We have funds set up for both girls – thanks to my in-laws. It is such a wonderful thing to know that they both have this savings for college, especially as the costs continue to rise. I can not imagine trying to have the money for 2 girls in college at the same time in 11 years.

  7. Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam says

    To encourage independence, I try to create their play areas to be kid friendly. Nothing breakable and within reach that I don’t want them touching. Virtually everything is permitted to be accessible and that encourages play and independence and it makes it easier for me. =)

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