Episode 18: Ksenia Yudina

Invest for College in 5 Minutes Flat

Let’s face it. With a $1.6 trillion national student loan debt issue, it’s no wonder parents want to know how to save for their kids’ education. Enter Ksenia Yudina, who has created an app called U-Nest, which simplifies the college savings process.

Originally from Russia, Yudina is a certified financial planner with an MBA from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and a mom of three. Her mission is to raise financial literacy by making saving for college as easy as downloading an app.

Yudina’s vision is to demystify 529 college savings plans and ensure no one ever feels intimidated about setting one up.

U-Nest is a free download from Apple’s App Store. The small $2.95 management fee is being waived for three months for anyone who enrolls by May 29, 2019.


Key Moments

  • 04:10 — Since April is Financial Literacy Month, find out what drew Ksenia Yudina to learn about finance, economics, and business and why it was so important to her to become educated about money.
  • 07:09 — Yudina reveals the motivation behind the creation of U-Nest: friends who couldn’t start planning for their future because they were drowning in their own student debt. How could they possibly save for their own kids? Yudina found the answer.
  • 11:00 — How should you evaluate a 529 plan for you, specifically? Yudina reveals what you should do, and which states offer the best tax breaks.
  • 17:08 — Whether your child is 4 or 14, it’s not too late to start saving for their college education. Yudina explains how you can benefit, even if your child gets a scholarship.
  • 22:24 — Think you can invest only in your own state’s 529 plan? Think again. Yudina divulges the truth of it and also discusses how having 529 plans in multiple states can benefit you.
  • 28:17 — U-Nest is not just an app. It also plays the role of a financial adviser, and it grows alongside you and your child. Find out what else Yudina’s company can do for you.
  • 31:13 — Full-time job to motherhood to entrepreneur: How did Yudina manage it all, and how does she avoid entrepreneurial burnout?
  • 34:47 — Last year, a meager 2.2 percent of venture capital went to women-led companies. Find out why Yudina thinks that is.
  • 39:05 — Yudina has advice for any other female entrepreneurs listening based on what she has learned in the fund-raising world.