Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Are you saving for your kids? And for what?

Together Tyler and I have decided to save on a monthly basis for our kids. However, I think we have different ideas than most do with how this money will be spent!
This may sound crazy, but it is not designated for college. In fact, I hope my kids choose NOT to go to college right after high school (unless they are absolutely sure that is the path for them). I would rather them choose to spend the money to travel around and gain meaningful experiences with people and nature in somewhere other than their "home". And I am pretty sure Tyler is right there with me.
Both of us joined the military a couple years after high school, and have found that was a great way to gain some experiences we would never have had. I for one, did not go to college before the military... which was a huge disappointment for a couple people. I had been one of 7 or 8 valedictorians from my small high school; I had received a large settlement from a 1986 accident (which my dad had invested for me since that time); and it was only normal for me to go to college. I just couldn't make up my mind on what to be. When I was little, I wanted to be a "fridgerator" (funny how I still love food!). I had no idea (still have no idea) what I want to spend my life doing. Tyler, on the other hand, went to a community college, but really had no clue as to what he was going to do either. So, we both joined the military. And we met (that is another story!), and fell in love (another story, too!)
And all this to say I have no pre- or misconceptions that my kids will want or need to go to college with the money we are saving for them. They each have a piggy bank to put coins and dollar bills in, and we save the allotted amount monthly, which will add up to a good amount by the time they are 18. Not to say they won't have stipulations. No guns or drugs! (that is a household joke, and I couldn't resist!) But seriously, they could use it for a car or like I said, travel, or...???
I hope the best for my kids, but they have to learn the value of money for themselves. Hopefully we will be good enough teachers to lead the way with guidance before they leave the nest. But only time will tell.
What do you hope your kids will use their money for when they get to make their own decisions? Is college the only way to go?


Anonymous said...

We feel the same way, maybe the money will go to college, maybe a tech school. Maybe, they will buy a fixer upper and flip it and watch their money grow. Maybe it will become seed money in a small business. The possibilities are endless college is just one flavor and there is plenty of time to do it all. I personally feel that I made a much better college student at 23 than I did at 18. Matt has no college and was a homeowner at 21 and now at 27 he owns three..and of course there is the travel with or without the military. So much out there!


Brooke said...

Isn't it funny that our younger brothers did almost the same thing? Noel was in the Navy, but did no college, and now has a 3 figure job and owns 2 houses! So much out there!

Danielle said...

We live in Florida, which has a great pre-paid college savings plan, so we went ahead and signed her up just in case. My husband and I each have advanced degrees and the painful student loans from them. My hopes and dreams for her is that wherever her adult life leads her, she will not have to begin it with a huge financial deficit. PS: Cool post :)

PMG Smith Family said...

Peter and I always say we're saving up for Greyson's college expenses, but ironically, neither of us has a college degree. I think when it comes down to it, we just want Grey to do what he wants and not what he thinks we want him to do.

Heather said...

We are saving up for whatever pops up at a time that there might be needs. Having children with medical issues, we realize the importance of making sure that we are always able to take of the things that might arise. Hopefully it will one day pay for their education, but we will spend where we can help them most

Brooke said...

Love all the comments! And just wanted to add that I don't think it is wrong for people to save for education... I just feel it isn't necessary for my family. I hope my kids spend it wisely, but I will try hard not to judge them :) I know I have made some mistakes with my money, and I learned from most of them.... so they were positive. Costly, but positive!