One of the things that both Kristian and I feel very strongly about is saving money in a college fund for Hunter. Kristian was very lucky that his parents paid for his education however I was forced to take out sizable student loans for mine that I'm still *cough*10 years later*cough* paying for and will continue to pay for for many years to come. I don't want my child/children having to start out their adult life in massive debt just to get an education.
We have some money from our tax return that we want to start his college fund with but we've been debating on the best kind of savings plan to setup for him. The 529 plans seem to be popular but I don't like the fact that if you take the money out for anything not education related it gets taxed (at least that's my understanding, I could be wrong). So I was thinking maybe a regular IRA would be better. I also would like something that will hopefully grow and earn money and not just sit in the bank not earning any kind of interest. Ideally we would like for him to go to college but if for some reason he chooses not to or *pleaseGod* gets a scholarship and doesn't need that money for his education I would like for him to be able to put it towards something else, like a down payment on a house without being penalized.
So my question is what's a good way to save for my child's college education? I want something that is easy to put money into, that doesn't have a minimum or maximum contribution limit and ideally wouldn't be taxed if used for something else.
How are you saving for or planning to save for your child's education?