Today we met with a financial advisor as well as our daycare provider. Both of these people will be devouring what little money is left in my bank account after health insurance, taxes and endless boxes of diapers and wipes. My husband and I know that our tiny life insurance policies provided by our employers are unrealistic, and that’s where the financial advisor comes in. We also need them to help us save at least some money for Parker’s future. We also know that in order to not live out of my Jeep Liberty next year, I need to work, and that’s where the daycare comes in.
So guess what I learned! By the year 2033, close to $400,000 will be spent on my son’s college education. Want to hear something even more awesome?! This is only based on a tuition in 2012 of $25,000, with inflation over the next 21 years taken into account. That means the money covers about half of a private school education or most of a state school education. Now, before you get all excited and think, you can totally save $400,000 over the next 21 years, let me remind you that this is for one child. And you’re crazy.
So if I’m doing my math correctly, we have to put away somewhere around $19,000 a year to cover the full tuition. I’m a public school teacher, so this is not realistic, peeps.
When deciding to finally have a child, we weighed the financial pros and cons. In the end, we realized that there are people who make less money than we do and have children, and they’re doing just fine. I’ve quickly realized that crunching the numbers makes parenting seem like a never-ending black hole of debt.
In terms of college funding, my husband and I had very different experiences. Although we attended the same college and had the same amount of scholarship money, he has absolutely zero student loans and I have tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Part of this is due to my choice to get a master’s degree before I got a teaching job. We look at Parker’s education very differently. Well, financially anyway. My husband would love for him to graduate without a single debt to his name. On the other hand, I see student loans as a necessary evil. The need for education outweighs the need for financial freedom, in my mind.
In the end, this will not deter me from having more children, and it will certainly not deter them from going to college. As it is now, even a bachelor degree does not hold the same weight that it used to. Who knows what the norm will be in 2033. Maybe a master’s won’t even be enough. Maybe I will be the equivalent of having a parent who just barely graduated from high school. Yikes!