Why You Shouldn"t Save for Your Kid"s Education
I'm not saying this out of spite, but from experience.
This concept may be challenging for you, but I think it's a great topic to cover.
Who knows, you might change your opinion by the end of this article.
I'll start with my college experience.
My parents and I had an agreement.
I was responsible for paying for my tuition and my parents would pay for my textbooks.
To give you a grasp on these expenses, my yearly tuition for college was $7,500 and my yearly books came to $1,000.
From a young age, my parents taught me to refuse debt and always pay things in cash.
Tuition was no exception.
From day one of college, I made it my goal to pay my tuition in cash each quarter and graduate college debt free.
It's important to point out that from the on-set, I made this a long term goal.
This would never have happened if I thought short-term.
During those four years, I learned a ton about myself and matured faster than the average college student.
When parties were happening on the weekends, I was working.
When football games were going on, I missed them.
OK, OK, it wasn't that bad.
I did have a blast in college, but I did have to sacrifice certain things to pay for my college.
It's amazing what a little financial strain will do for your thirst for conquering a goal.
I ended up starting my own furniture moving company, had multiple internships, and even did landscaping jobs on the weekends for neighbors.
I ended up graduating college debt free.
God gets the glory on those, doors were opened and I definitely felt blessed during those times and still do today! Looking back, having such a financial burden molded me into the person I am today.
I'm just as frugal today as I was in college.
Habits like spending less than you earn, going the extra mile and seeking out deals instead of paying full price are habits that are now ingrained in the way I live my life.
Do I wish my parents paid for my college tuition? No way! To be honest, I would probably still be in school and sitting on a couch with zero inspiration to better myself...
So yes, I'm glad my parents never saved or paid paid college tuition.
So that's my story, I hope you enjoyed it.
This brings me to my four key points for why I recommend parents avoid saving for their kid's college tuition.
1 - College doesn't cost as much as the media tells you it does.
Look, the reality is this.
If you want affordable tuition for college, go to an in-state public university.
I know, I know, but you want your kid to go to the "best of the best.
" Well, here's another reality check! For the vast majority of students that attend colleges like Cornell, Stanford, or MIT, the return on investment is terrible! I won't go into details, but I make significantly more than my friends who attended privates colleges.
Hmm, let's do the math on that one.
They have loads of debt and don't make that much out of college.
I think I win in this situation.
So here's the deal: send your kids to community college for the first two years, then transfer them to an in-state university.
This is your best bet and it provides an opportunity for your kids to pay their own way through school.
2 - You have to look out for "numero uno.
" It sounds selfish, but it's a rather good point.
Saving for your own retirement future is far more important than paying for a fancy school for your kids to go to.
Your financial goals come first.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't help them at all.
I'm saying that you should plan for retirement, THEN help your kids as much as you can.
An important thing to remember is that your kids can always get a student loan.
You will never be able to get a retirement loan because they don't exist! Invest in yourself first.
The sooner you learn this the better.
3 - College savings plans suck.
If they were significantly better, then yes, I would possibly consider helping my kids pay for their tuition.
Unfortunately, college savings plans are terrible.
For one, you don't know your future income levels, therefore you don't know your future tax brackets.
You don't want to be in a position where you are missing out on tax benefits.
Also, college saving plans really limit you on how you can invest your money.
College savings plans have way more negatives than positive.
Steer clear of these plans and make your kids pay for their tuition! 4 - By making your kids pay for their tuition, you are actually being better parents and showing them true love.
Good parenting is teaching your kids life lessons that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Bad parenting is pleasing your kid's every need and request.
Your kids might give you some flack for not paying their tuition (I know I did!) but they will thank you when they're older and financially secure because you made them pay their way.
Now, after reading this, ask yourself a question: "Will I put my children ahead of myself when it comes to saving for retirement?" I hope you answer this question with a resounding NO.
If I offended some readers, I did my job.
It's a touchy subject, but one I felt that I needed to write about.