Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Planning for College

Planning for college is a seriously daunting task.

My wife and I got married last year and we merged two families. We now have a total of five kids. My two kids from a previous marriage are with us part time and here three kids are with us part time as well. My oldest step-daughter is a senior in high school and getting ready to graduate.

She is planning on going to Wright State University for her college degree, but not sure what she wants to do. We are trying to plan for the expense of college and we have finally run all the numbers with her and she has seen the light that she is broke and has to work hard to save money to pay for college.

Now don't start yelling at me about the fact that we should have been ready for this. We have only been married for a year and haven't had time to plan.

For a little background information my previous marriage was a financial disaster and I took all the debt as a way to get out of a bad marriage. I also pay for the house my ex-wife lives in for the rest of this year and then I am free to sell the house. Once the debt is paid off and the house is sold we can pay for college with cash. We have told her that we are willing to help with more than half of the college but the requirement is that she remains on the Dean's list and she has to pay for her gas to get to college, her insurance for her car, and the books. She has to find a way to pay for the other half of college however she can. She will continue to get money from her father to help but the rest of it she has to work for.

The last thing I want is for her to go to college and graduate with $50,000.00 in debt. That is no way to start your adult life.

We have started training her on how to save and do a budget. We are doing the old fashioned method of using the envelope system for what she has to pay. She takes a portion of her paychecks and puts it into envelopes for gas, books, car insurance, and tuition. It is really cool to see the fear and then the relief that comes across her eyes as we teach her to work through the trails and tribulations of life especially when she has the money on hand to deal with the bills that  come from being grown up.

Growing up at 40 is more fun when you can pass some skills and knowledge on to your kids.

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