[Image via Pixabay]A tax-advantaged savings account that can be used to cover college-related expenses, a 529 plan gives parents the opportunity to invest after-tax money. The money is invested in low-cost stock and bond funds and can be applied toward expenses related to their child’s education. You can open a 529 plan as soon as your child is born. Also check at work, you may be able to access an employer-sponsored 529 plan depending on your employee benefits. The rules about 529 plans can vary by state, so you’ll want to research the specific laws in your state before moving forward with this option.