Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Start Planning Today!

Saving for your child’s education is critical.  So say hundreds of financial planners, investment professionals, and college fund managers; although surely it matters not that every one of them also stands to fund their own retirement via commissions off your studious savings.  A vast majority of parents today recognize while their child is still in the zygote stage that he or she is far above average, gifted in fact, and will be attending a prestigious university, most likely Harvard.  This necessitates the creation of a college savings account.  This is not to be confused with the savings account most people are familiar with from childhood, in which birthday and Christmas money was deposited for up to several days before it was withdrawn to buy baseball cards, dinosaurs, or whatever little girls spend their money on.  No, a college savings account is a special place where parents can put all the money they have left over after buying diapers, car seats, a crib, baby food, educational toys, wet wipes, a high chair, and clothes.  Then, through the miracle of compound interest, the money grows at astronomical rates, allowing you to have enough money to pay for college when your child turns eighteen.  Provided the stock market goes up.  A lot.  Being convinced by the near mathematical certainty of this proposition, I opened a college savings account for my firstborn son shortly after he received a social security number.  I started with $25.00, which, interestingly enough, was just enough to cover the annual fee for the first year. So far, small annoyances like groceries and house payments have prevented me from sending large checks to the college fund.  However, I have mailed in several Dominoes Pizza coupons in hopes those can be applied during my son’s college years.  Occasionally we deposit whatever coins are left in the change jar [after going out for ice cream of course] and this has resulted in a substantial balance being built up, possibly enough for the application fee at a local community college.  I’m sure the teen years will provide far more opportunities for squirreling away cash.  In the meantime, I can cast haughty sidelong glances at friends who bemoan the rising costs of college and fret over their lack of preparation.  Then I can take them out for ice cream.   

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