For parents who are saving for their child college education, they are mainly concerned about not saving enough. However, I don’t know if that many people think about the flip side. For example, is it possible for some parents to save too much?
I got some great discussion going in my last article, and Chief Family Officer commented that $250,000 may not be enough for a good private school:
“…I do think that $400,000+ is more realistic if your child wants to attend one of the most expensive schools (Cal Tech, for example, is at $40K per year already, if you include room and board)…”
In another related post about my initial calculation for my son’s college costs, TBH offered another perspective:
“…I decided that I don’t have to be prepared to pay for his entire education. My plan is to tell him I can pay for all of a public school education. If he wants to go to a private school for some reason, I will encourage him, but he’ll have to take out loans for part of it. I want to help him keep his loans to a minimum, but I think it’s actually a good thing to put some of the responsibility on him so that he values his education more, etc…”
My wife and I intend to help our son pays for his 4-year college education. However, we have been focusing on the dollar amount and the investment strategy. After reading TBH’s comment, I had an epiphany. I really liked the idea of saving just enough for a good 4-year public college education, and having our son share the responsibility if he wants more.
Here are 4 reasons why I want my son to pay for part of his college expenses:
- It is less burdensome on our lifestyle and effort to save for retirement. Also, we have to consider our aging parents and possibility of having another child. We cannot let his college savings take precedence. After all, he has student loans, scholarships, financial aid, and other options at his disposal. For example, he can choose to go to a less expensive school. We do not have the same kind of flexibility with elderly care and retirement expenses.
- It teaches him a life lesson about trade-offs. Specifically, he cannot have everything he wants, and if he really wants something he will have to work for it. After all, 4-year Ivy League education is not a NEED; it is a WANT.
- It teaches him the value of money. We can show him the difference between a more expensive and less expensive school. Which one should he choose — go to a more expensive school and graduate with debt, or go to a less expensive one and possibly graduate with a positive net worth?
- Having our son share the responsibility of paying for his education may make him appreciate the education more.
How about you? How much are you planning to save for your children’s education?
This article was featured in The Carnival Of Education #138 hosted by Global Citizenship in a Virtual World.
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.