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Financial Sense/ Money Matters, Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, Twins/Toddler Tuesday, What Do You Think?

Financial Sense: Saving For My Kids’ Education

eduationWhile I am not saying that your parental prowess is directly linked to the type of education your child has, I am saying that I think it’s important that I make sure my kids get a good one.

There are so many options when it comes to school for children.  Home school, public school, private school all have their own with benefits and drawbacks, but in the end, the kids grow up and end up in the same place university/college.

I think getting a post secondary education is compulsory in today’s society.  While there are few who succeed without it, the majority of children will need something if they ever hope to have a successful career.  But university or college comes with a steep price tag, and I don’t think that is a burden a child should bear alone.

No, I do not think that parents are responsible for paying for their children’s way in life.  In fact, when I was in university I abhorred the kids whose parents paid for them because while I was working full-time to pay for school plus working my ass of to get straight A’s, they did nothing but hang around at central square socializing, and they did not take pride in their grades or care about their school work at all.

I think it’s good for a child to have a part-time job so they can understand the value of money (and many other things) and understand the value of the education they are receiving.  But I don’t think that at one of the most tumultuous times in their teenage lives that they should be faced of the weight of their entire future on their shoulders because they may not be able to come up with the money for school.

I was lucky.  I had a good job and worked 35 hours a week from the age of 17 so I had lots of savings and did not have to worry.  Getting those straight A’s also paid off and I received almost $20,000 in grants and scholarships between my undergraduate and graduate studies.  My parents also had some money put away that I was able to use.  So for all these reasons I never had to borrow a dime.

Some of my friends however, were not so lucky.  The really unlucky ones did not qualify for student assistance programs because their parents “made too much money” even though that did not mean their parents were giving them any of said money.  Then there were those who did qualify and graduated with tens of thousands of dollars of debt they had no hope of repaying since the job market sucks and university does not usually translate directly into a well-paying job.  Then there were those who went to college and did have an easier time getting a job, but soon came to find themselves very limited when it came to lateral opportunities or chances for career advancement since their training was so specialized.  So they either went back to school, accumulating more debt, or took pay cuts to be able to have flexibility.

I do not want that to happen to my kids.

In case you are interested in helping your kids to save for school there are lots of great options available.  All three of my kids have a tax sheltered RESP that the government tops up monthly with a percentage of money based on our contributions.  We don’t put in a lot, but at the age of three my son already has almost $4000 in there and we didn’t even start it until he was around 6-8 months old.

So if you haven’t started to think about it yet, give some thought to how your kids will pay for school and make those decisions while you still have time to make them. I for one feel a sense of pride and relief knowing that I will be able to help my kids if/when they need it.

Cheers!

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of three children and expecting #4. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

9 thoughts on “Financial Sense: Saving For My Kids’ Education

  1. Oh wow do I have things to say about all of this!! No– its not negative at all. Its just what I have observed and experienced. I don’t agree that ALL have to go to university/ college. There are tech school and apprenticeship options out there also. At some point I will do a post of my own about my observations/thoughts about it. Suffice it to say, I don’t have any money put aside for my kids’ schooling, there just has never been any extra for that too. I have also seen so many kids spend TONS of money on schooling and end up with huge debts and no real way to pay that all off. Its a crazy cycle that has got to end!! the other thing I have seen is that people spend so much money on their college degree and then end up not using it at all because they can’t find a good paying job in their field or find that they really hate that line of work!!!
    I could go on and on… I am so happy for you to be putting away money for your kids’ education. That is a huge help. Just make sure they are really ready to go and have a gift for working in that field.
    blessings– vicki

    Posted by vrein11 | June 10, 2014, 10:46 am
    • Well I think that is part of the problem. At 18 how are you really supposed to know what to do with the rest of your life. Perhaps I was unclear but I will support my kids no matter what route they choose, but I think that it is important to be able to support them in whatever route they choose including post secondary education. I am also biased because living in the city you do require college or university for any decent job, but it doesn’t mean that it is like that in every city, town or country. What prompted this article was somewhat in defense to criticisms of being a working mom by non working moms who don’t put money aside which is why it may have come across defensively. Thanks for commenting and I am glad I could inspire you to write a post. Cheers!

      Posted by Shannon | June 10, 2014, 12:35 pm
      • I thought you did a great job with your post. I just always am kind of forceful when it comes to the whole “you must spend thousands of dollars on a college education you probably will never actually use” thought pattern. I am all for education, but it takes many different routes- especially today! I am just trying to get you, and others, to realize that not everyone is cut out for and NEEDS to go to college. I have written a post- if you would like to read it, about our own kids and their particular paths with and without college.
        I am so sorry that you are getting criticism for being a working mom. That is just not right!
        Blessings!!
        Vicki

        Posted by vrein11 | June 11, 2014, 9:43 am
  2. I’m getting started WAY too late on this – my kids are five and I’m already feeling regret that I didn’t start a fund when they were smaller. My goal for this week is figuring out which plan will work best of us and which sacrifices I can make to make this happen. Goodbye bi-weekly cleaning lady that I love with all my heart. Gotta start somewhere.

    Posted by whyistherebreadinmykoolaid | June 10, 2014, 11:02 am
  3. This is good advice. I always thought, my boys will do college like mommy did. Financial aid, grants, and working. BUT I want my boys to have it better than I did. I do not want them to accumulate debt and have some help along the way if needed. All that being said, I haven’t started a fund for them or anything yet. A friend of mine said that sometimes having too much in savings can hurt them when it comes to financial aid when you fill out the FAFSA. Who knows?! I plan on talking to an advisor at some point and putting a tiny bit away for them here and there. Good stuff.

    Posted by Tales of a Twin Mombie | June 11, 2014, 11:26 pm
    • Thanks! I can only speak for where I live and I know that students cannot get loans if the parents make over a certain amount, which is silly because if your parents are not able to help you, why should you be denied? But that’s how it works. Obviously it’s up to everyone to decide what works for them, but I just wanted to get people thinking about it. Thanks for reading!

      Posted by Shannon | June 12, 2014, 4:47 pm

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