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July 21, 2016

Why I'm Not Saving for My Child's College Education

Most financial advisers seem to recommend prioritizing saving for retirement over a child's college education. However, I'm taking that advice to the extreme by not saving anything for our child's education; let me tell you why.

Time is More Important
Instead of saving for a college education, I'm saving for an extremely early retirement that will enable me to spend much more time with my child. It's difficult to say exactly how much college will cost, but trying to save the full amount would likely require me to work several extra years. That means several more years of being away from home most of the day and missing out on seeing my child grow up.
To me, being present is more important that paying for college.

College isn't that Expensive
I should qualify the above statement. *Some* colleges aren't that expensive.
There is a very good chance my child will attend a public, <GASP> state university. While they may not be the most elite schools in the country, there are a whole lot of people, including most of my family, who went to state schools and got a great education. They were even able to get good jobs afterward. Best of all, none of us graduated with crushing debt because tuition was incredibly reasonable.

With a little effort, I suspect most people could pay their public college tuition with money earned at an average summer job. Room and board would be a little more difficult, but there's a decent chance our child could live at home while going to school, saving lots of money in the process.
I also think there is honor in paying your own way, that you won't get from having mom and dad cover all your costs. I certainly respect the hell out of my dad for paying for his own college education.

Scholarships & Grants
One awesome thing about going to college is that there are countless organizations, including the government, who want to give you money, just for going to school. The number of scholarships and grants available to students is mind boggling. There are huge sums of money free for the taking, and I plan to help my child be first in line for it.

I know some of you will say scholarships aren't that easy to come by, but I was able to earn a full academic scholarship to college, and our baby is already smarter than me, so she should have no trouble getting one too. There's also a very good chance she is going to be very tall, which increases the likelihood she will be able to earn an athletic scholarship as well.
To sum it up, many people will give you money for school. Very few will give you money for retirement.

College is Optional
This is a very intriguing concept that Chrissy is very skeptical of.
With the proliferation and availability of information today, college is becoming less important. I will definitely encourage my child to attend college because I believe a well rounded education is very beneficial, but in a lot of ways, a college degree is no longer as important as it used to be to get a good job.

If my child goes online and learns how to write computer code, she will probably have all the skills she needs to join the workforce. She may even create her own app and never have to work for anyone.

I do think going to college is a great experience and helps you grow in countless ways, but there are a lot of other ways to achieve the same thing for a lot less money. Joining the Peace Corps or vagabonding through Asia are a couple of options. There are countless others.


How much are you saving for your child's education? Let me know in the comments.


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