Monday, June 14, 2010

College Cash

Hey parents, do you dream of your kids going to college? Better start saving now. Better yet, parents should start saving before their child is born. Sounds silly? It's not, really.

That's because the sooner you start saving for their education after high school, the more money they will have saved. It doesn't have to be a lot. Whatever you can afford. But you must make it a priority.

What? You say you don't have any extra cash to spare? Come on, of course you do. And if you don't, you are living beyond your means. Eat more meals at home instead of going out. Clip coupons. Buy off-brands. Drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle. There are lots of ways to save. But you must make the effort.

I was lucky. My parents had enough money saved to pay for most of my college education. They were from "The Greatest Generation," that saved before they made a big purchase. They lived through the Depression and before credit cards and 12-months-same-as cash promotions. I guess I learned from them. They owned four houses in their lifetime and never paid a mortgage. I have not been as lucky, but I did get my money-management skills from them.

As you may know, my oldest daughter has just finished her first year of college and it appears we will be able to pay for all four years, stock market permitting.

My son, has one more year before college and I think we have enough for at least three years of college.

And my toddler daughter, well she has a good start on her college fund.

Has it been easy? NO. But in the long run it is worth it for two reasons; 1, they will enter the working world almost debt free, and 2, you will be teaching them money-management skills that they will hopefully then pass down to their children.

So the way I look at it, it's a win-win situation for everyone. And it's nice when plans come together.

Good luck, and start saving. Your kids some day will thank you.

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