Don’t let the title fool you. The cost of college is no where near coins, its all about the dollars, ALOT of dollars. And while we all hope to win big with Island Luck, get that financial aid or even remortage the home the reality is thousands of kids every year do not have the opportunity to attend college for the mere fact that they cannot afford it.
I had planned on attending college, I had toured the campus in Tampa, applied for my visa, filled all the applications and then it happened. That check that was suppose to come, well it didnt and I would be delayed in attending college. I didnt speak for weeks, I was disappointed and mostly heartbroken.
For many college is an after thought. Something that is not discussed or even thought about until the child is near completion of high school and then all of questions come pouring in. I eventually attended college but most of what had happened before couldve been avoided if there was a college savings plan in place. I teamed up with one of our very own financial and budgeting experts Rashad Moss who breaks down the why’s,what,how and when’s of college savings.
Why save for college?
As parents we all aspire to provide the best for our kid/s. Tertiary education is no different. If you aspire to have your kids attend college , a college savings plan would be a great way to lay your foundation. It would be silly to spend 18 years of talking about sending your kid to college and then realizing you don’t have the means to. If you gonna buy a brand new Ford Escape and pay on it for 10 plus years while it depriciates every day then you might as well put $10 a week aside for college.
When is the best time to start saving?
Rashad encourages parents to start as soon as possible. If you want to start from conception, well even better! The more years you put into saving the more money you will receive. It simple mathematics really.
How do you estimate future college costs?
Inflation is inevitable. I mean last week my silk milk cost $6.51 and this week it was $7.51. I can only imagine the cost of college 5, 10 or even 15 years from now. Rashad doesnt want anyone to be discouraged from saving but it helps to project and anticipate that you may need to add an extra $5 once your kid begins high school just for a buffer.
What if I can’t afford it?
I can’t afford silk milk but I budget and make it work. Rashad explains that starting small does wonders for parents on a budget, especially single parents. Maybe your end goal may not be $50k based on your monthly savings however your child can end up with 20k and trust me for a kid with big dreams of going to college that 20k maybe all the start they need to get their foot in the door.
What if my child doesnt go to college?
Rashad and I laughed at this one. I told him I want my money back! But Rashad offered some excellent point of views. Not every one is college bound. There are some amazing small and large business that have been started by persons who either didnt go to college or dropped out (I mean look at Bill Gates). The money that you save could be a wonderful start to a much need beginning. It can fuel a young entreprenuers dreams, fund a vocational calling or be just the right amount you need to add that extra cabana you wanted on Exuma.
Regardless it would appear that saving for college is one of the best decisions you can make as a parent.
If you havent started as yet have a talk with your nearest College Saving expert and spark a conversation. If you don’t have an expert here you can use mine! Rashad is always available and can be reached here.
Till next time