Saving for college, one holdup at a time
As a humor blogger, if there’s one question I get more than any other it’s “Blog Guy, college is so darned expensive these days, how can I afford to send my kids there?”
That’s where I can help out. Not with my own original ideas, you understand, but by quoting an expert – let’s call him Dan – who knows money secrets normally available only to the super-rich.
Here’s Dan’s blog piece on the subject, but I’ll boil down his main points.
1. Set a savings goal
“Whether it’s $25 or $250 each week, plan out how much you’re going to set aside for your child’s future,” Dan tells us.
Hey, slow down, Dan, I’m not Donald Trump! What if I save TOO much, and end up with $10 million when all I need is $200,000? Or worse, what if my kid turns out to be stupid, and doesn’t need any tuition at all?
Dan goes on to offer some specific ways to cut back. He says you can save $1,000 a year if you stop buying a latte every morning. Avoid Starbucks, and in just 200 years it’s Hello, Harvard!
2. Stick to your goals
This is important. Dan says if times get tough you should work an extra shift, have a yard sale or switch from bottled water to tap. Those are good ideas, unless the lead in your town’s water system kills you while your kid is still in kindergarten.
My own suggestion? Dust off Grandpa’s old .45 pistol from Korea, buy a box of bullets and start robbing convenience stores. It’s night work that doesn’t interfere with your day job, and maybe you can even pick up that latte you didn’t have in the morning.
3. Leave the money alone
I guess here Dan is saying you shouldn’t dip into the college fund to pay for hookers or good bourbon or pedicures or whatever.
This is very complicated, but see, Dan’s point is if you take money OUT of the college fund, it won’t be there any longer. Who knew?
4. Open an education specific investment account
“Consider your goals, talk to your financial adviser, and then see what kind of account may be right for you,” Dan advises.
I know, now you’re saying, “But Blog Guy, are you so stupid you think I HAVE a financial adviser? Those guys aren’t free!”
That’s true, but here’s what you can do to pay for an adviser. Just dip into your kid’s college fund, take some money out, and… Oh. Wait. Maybe this deal is more complex than I thought…
Top left: U.S. property mogul Donald Trump gestures during a media event on the sand dunes of the Menie estate, the site for Trump’s proposed golf resort, near Aberdeen, Scotland, May 27, 2010. REUTERS/David Moir
Right: An artfully poured latte rests on the counter at Starbucks’ Roy Street Coffee and Tea in Seattle, March 25, 2010. REUTERS/Marcus Donner
Bottom left: Bottles of Pellegrino are sold in a market in New York, June 15, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer