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?