Parents instinctively want to provide the best for their children, least of all a quality education that will set them up for a decent path in life. The price you pay towards your child’s education will be determined by a variety of factors. If you choose to send your child to a private or public school, and if they participate in after-school activities will ultimately decide how much you need to save towards. Education is expensive to start with, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare experience just because you want the best that life has to offer your child.
Whether you are a new parent who is looking to secure the best educational future for your son or daughter, or your child is starting university soon, the following tips and tricks will make saving a reality.
1. Be Disciplined in Your Approach to Saving
This seems logical; however, it can be difficult to make sure that enough money is going into a savings account each month that will cover any schooling costs. It is equally important that these savings are regular. This step takes discipline as well as sacrifice, but if you are not consistent in your savings plan, in the long run, only your child will be affected. To do this, consider setting up an automatic debit order with your bank where you will be saving money without having to think about it. Be careful though. You need to have enough money in your account to start with so that the debit order doesn’t bounce. This will result in penalty fees that negatively affect the rest of your budget. Add this automatic payment into your monthly budget and treat it as any other mandatory expense. You may even want to adjust your budget to include only essential items. Always remind yourself that you are saving towards a bigger goal.
2. Consider an Interest-Bearing Account
Interest-bearing accounts can be very beneficial, yet most of them require an initial lump-sum investment just to open the account. If you have the capital to invest, you will see exponential results as each year passes and interest is added. Alternatively, if you cannot afford to invest right now, think about doing so once you have enough saved up after setting up the automatic debit orders. It is all about incremental improvements to achieve your objective. Even by saving every last bit of money at the end of each month, over time, you will see the fruits of this sacrifice. You will also learn that you can live without certain luxuries if you need to save for something important. There is also a roll-over effect here because you will identify other areas of your life where you could save that you maybe didn’t realize before.
3. Save Based on Your Child’s Chosen Career
Saving for your child’s first few years of schooling can be easily calculated because there are only a finite number of schools in which foundational education can be taught. But if your child is leaving high school, you need to know which institution or university they want to go to based on the career they want to have. For example, your child may be rather artistic and instead of earning a university degree, they will thrive more in the future by attending an art, music, or design college. In turn, these choices will decide how much investment would be needed. You might even find that you need to save a lot less than if you were paying for the standard doctorate or university degree that can take years to earn.
4. Plan According to Needs and Not Wants
This next step ties in with saving towards the career your child wants. If they are highly academic and aspire to learn complex techniques and trades, you may be in for more than you expected. Take a nurse or doctor, for example. This career choice requires years’ worth of education to learn the theory before one can begin to practice and earn a living. On top of this, internships and residencies don’t pay very well and until your child has become a doctor or specialist, you may have to support their living costs for some time.
A substantial amount of research from a parent is required to understand what it will take to pay for children’s education. Perhaps there is a community college that is based close to home that offers the courses or degrees being pursued. In this case, quite a bit of money can be saved on transportation costs. Additionally, many trade schools and non-academic institutions offer cheaper courses through online platforms. Even a nursing degree can be achieved this way – click here for more information.
5. Train Your Child to Save
As your child grows, teach them responsibility from a young age. Encourage them to start earning their own money and enforce saving habits from a reasonable age. Parents will always want to provide and make things easier for their children, but imagine how independent they will be one day because they learned that anything worth having takes sacrifice and determination. Why not set your child up for the realities that will one day come when they are living on their own? It can be an effective method to teach your children that money has to be earned by hard work and discipline and you may find that this helps to ease some of the pressure put on you as a parent.
The bottom line is that you want to give your child the best education possible so that they can one day be responsible adults that positively contribute to society. It will not always be possible to save and it definitely won’t be easy. Don’t feel guilty if you are unable to save one month when there is an emergency that needs to be taken care of – life happens. If you are consistent, determined, and purposeful in your saving efforts, it gets easier and you will one day see the rewards of your efforts.