I had zero financial help when it came to post secondary and I don’t blame my mom at all. Our children didn’t ask to be born so it is our responsibility as parents to provide for them and make sure their needs are taken care of, as far as I am concerned, it is not the responsibility of the parent to pay for post secondary education. However, if you’re in a financial situation that allows it, you may want to help.
We are currently setting aside a little bit of money each month for our daughter because we’re able to. My mom, though she had a good job, was a single parent and many other financial responsibilities. Though we are setting aside a bit of money for her (including any financial gifts she may get) I will not jeopardize my retirement or other financial goals so she can get a degree debt free.
I know of many people who have remortgaged their house, taken out of their own retirement funds just to ensure their kids have no debt when they graduate. This is crazy to me. Kids who go into post secondary ideally will get a job that allows them to repay any debt they borrowed. Though it will take another three and half years for us to be debt free we are 100% doing it on our own and I have zero resentment to my mom for not helping me. I chose to further my education and opted to do two degrees, not her. At 18 I was making my own decisions.
If you do want to contribute to your kids education, start early. We opened an account for her before she was three months old and continue to contribute monthly. We made it quite clear that, especially when she is young, we didn’t need many gifts for her. We would rather have the money for her savings than another teddy bear. This helps beef up her savings and limiting the clutter in our home! Double win.
It is my hope that like both me and her father, come 16 our daughter will be able to balance a part-time job, school and extracurricular activities (though if she can’t job is first thing to go). It is important that we teach her the importance of saving and plan to match any savings she comes up with on her own (to a max we will decide when the time comes). I think this will encourage good saving behaviour, which hopefully will last a lifetime and allow us to reward her for a good behaviour. Saving money isn’t easy and I’m hopeful this will encourage her.
Though I have no intentions of giving up anything I want in my life her post secondary savings (I would gladly give up anything for something she needed) you’d be surprised how easy it is to find even $25 per month. Over 18 years, while it won’t pay for a degree, it will certainly help offset some post secondary costs and your child will appreciate it!
Do you save for your kids post secondary? Will you pay for all of it no matter what?