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DaemonCorax

Saving for kids college?

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So I figure you all might have some creative takes on this. I went to school in state, and my sister went out-of-state. We both had some scholarships for a little of it. My parents were very conservative financially and my mom's paycheck pretty much took care of my sister's undergrad. We both went to grad school in the sciences and therefore got paid to go to school. MFH went to trade school after military service. If I stay in my job for the next 18 years, our kid will have free tuition, but who knows how likely THAT is. And who knows, there might be two little monsters. So my question to you is:

 

Do you save (if you can) for your kids' college specifically?

Or do you rely on more flexible savings?

Given our generation (I'm an old millennial) got pretty screwed on the myth of the liberal arts education (dodged a bullet there) and saddled with massive amounts of debt, what do we even expect 4-year college to look like for our kids?

Could saving in a restricted-use fund screw us (again)?

 

MFH and I bought a house this spring. Partly because we had access to a VA loan, and partly because I was able to save 50% of my income for the past couple years. I'm stacking away 30% right now to rebuild our emergency fund while he knocks down some student loan and similar debt (not CCs). Obviously this is going to take a hit with daycare, but there will still be some wiggle room and I'd like to be smart about our next steps.

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We didn't get on the whole savings thing until my son was in high school, so props to you for thinking about it now. I think if I had a do-over I would put it in a separate savings account. Right now we have a savings account that  we can get at, but it takes  a little longer (something like 2 weeks written notice) and it earns more interest. I would put it in something like that. And then when my kid was old enough I  would let him use it as education money, whether that is college or some other sort of training

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On 11/28/2018 at 1:02 AM, DaemonCorax said:

Do you save (if you can) for your kids' college specifically?

Or do you rely on more flexible savings? 

[...]

Could saving in a restricted-use fund screw us (again)?

 

I'm not in the States, education is cheap here and I don't know what kind of vehicles you could put college money in and what their advantages are so my insight is limited.

 

Anyway, what I'll do for my kids is set up some form of savings that would belong to them upon their twenties. It must not be usable by myself and they can use it on what they want when they get it (though they'll have the guidance speech beforehand and maybe it'll not be a "you get the full money at once" kind of thing). As you state, college can be a very good thing and it's important that they can have the means to go for it when they can and not come out of it drowning in debt but there are other career paths out there worth taking.

 

As for if restricted-use funds can screw us, yeah, sure, as always. It's a matter of weighing the benefits versus the freedom of use for the money. I'd not go for a 100% college savings fund unless the benefits are really great (tax deduction?) but if it could be used for some other things, why not? I'd not fear to go for something binding my money for years, though, since the money is destined to serve for your children at a given point in their life that you can plan for.

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