This week we will be celebrating our fourth child’s college graduation. Yippee for sure! This is a huge milestone and one that would not have been reached without lots of hard work and planning. The kids worked hard in school for years, learning to study, being responsible, growing those brains, and earning good grades. We did the planning in how to manage the cost, and we saved for years to help our children graduate in four years debt free with a degree in hand.
This wasn’t easy and this goal was reached through many ways. We set up UGMA accounts when the children were born and made yearly contributions. Then 529s came along and this savings vehicle became another way to save. Grandparents helped out all along the way also making yearly contributions. Godparents gave birthday gifts of money specifically for college. The kids earned merit (grade based) scholarships and held jobs during the summers and throughout their college careers.
All of this hard work and planning was worth it! The years really do fly by fast, and I am glad that we started planning right away with the birth of each child. I am also thankful for the help from everyone. The saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” can be also applied to educating a child. As a teacher I am a bit biased, but giving the gift of education is the best gift ever. It is an investment in the future. Every little bit socked away into college savings added up.
Congratulations — not just on your graduate but on your planning. We just graduated our first from college and we were able to pay 3/4 of his tuition with 529s. Take Stacey’s advice and save from day one.