Regret.. Why have I not saved for my child’s education?

Saving for your child’s education is more important than you think! 

Maybe in all of this I can convince someone to learn from my mistakes, to take action now and save for your child’s education. I Always thought I would have plenty of time to save up and pay for my children’s education. I had thought about savings plans and investing money for them but some how in the chaos of life this just did not happen. Time really does fly and some how our little Zoe is now already turning 4, this means this will be her last year at play school and next year she will be moving on to pre school.

This is totally too scary for me to handle with all the mommy nerves and emotions that go with it and then there is also the financial side of it that has suddenly been realized! We have so far not saved a cent towards education, how careless of us.

Education savings funds

In the old days you did not have much choice of a career, there were only a few main ones and as high standards you would hope to pick one of the big five careers; Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer, Teacher or an Accountant.  Your options were limited and your path set at an early age.

Fast forward 30 years and consider how you’re reading this post. On the internet, probably on a cellphone – social media didn’t exist 15 years ago, and it spawned an entire new industry in the last decade.

The point is – we’re preparing our children for jobs that don’t even exist yet. And their best tool will undoubtedly be a good education.

Below are a few ways that you can start planning today in order to ensure their success tomorrow.

If you only start saving when your child starts Grade 1, it’s already too late!

We know you’ve heard this plenty of times, however it can’t be repeated enough! The earlier you start saving for their education the smaller the impact is on your budget. Ideally you should start saving before you even fall pregnant! When you think children then you should think saving and with future education inflation, a new parent needs to save at least R800 per month, preferably more, to confidently cover the total cost of  a High School Education at a good school. If you only start saving when your child starts Grade 1, you’ll need to put aside almost two and a half times as much every month from then on. Scared yet… I know I am wondering why did I not start saving sooner!!!

 Education inflation is real…

Education costs have historically risen by between 9% and 10% each year. Therefore it is possible that the increase in school fees will be more than your salary increase each year.  Your first goal should therefore be to save so that you can make up this difference without education taking a bigger bite out of your household finances. By the time my 4 year old goes to high school, the fees will have without a doubt have increased so much that I may not be able to afford the monthly payment.

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Funding the grade gap

Your second goal is to fill the gap between high school and primary school fees, as you will be paying around 20% more once your child starts high school. In fact, even primary school fees often increase with each grade, over and above the normal annual inflationary increases.

As soon as your child starts Grade One, immediately increase your savings by the difference between primary and high school fees. You will then be setting aside a realistic percentage of your salary for your child’s 12 years of education and the savings will supplement the annual fee increases in high school.

 Protecting the future

When planning for your child’s education, you should also consider an insurance policy to fund any shortfall should the worst happen to you, I know we all like to think we will live to watch our children grow old but we can in reality never know how life will turn out. My mother passed away when I was 16 and it had a huge impact on my life and my education at that point.

Liberty  offers education cover through the comprehensive EduCator benefit which pays school fees directly to your Child’s institution up to their first tertiary degree should you pass away or become permanently disabled.

If you have not started an education savings plan yet, it is not too late. Visit www.liberty.co.za for more information on Liberty’s education investment and policy products. Because we do not know what the future holds and it is never too late to start saving for our children.

 

3 Comments

  1. Lisa

    January 17, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Also some great products by Old Mutual to consider – especially a tax free savings account that could seriously benefit your child in years to come.

  2. Anonymous

    January 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    My parents started saving up for my tertiary education from when I was a baby. Unfortunately when the policy paid out (Not entirely sure if it was a policy specifically for education) , my parents did other things with the money. My father controls the finances, and he makes rather poor choices (Life choices included).

    I’m forced to look for a job now, now that I’m half-way through my degree (My father’s family used to pay for my studies, but have outrightly refused to continue doing so in future, because ‘I’m not their child’. On one hand, I do see their point.). It’s a pity I was not told sooner about how dire the situation was, and was previously discouraged from studying part-time. My only comfort is that I’m studying towards a scare field, making it easy to obtain a job.

    The whole situation has been rather difficult for me, and I’ve done a lot of growing as a result. I’ve also picked up a few life lessons, which I will definitely convey to my future children.

    My advice for parents is this: When your child wishes to begin working a service job (Such as a cashier or waiter) part-time for extra cash, don’t discourage them by saying that such a thing is beneath them and will make the family “look bad”. Encourage such things, because jobs such as these cause a person to grow into a much more understanding individual. Also note that an ‘ego’ is a dreadful thing. Pride is nothing but a sin and will ultimately hold you back in life. Also, be transparent with your children from an early age (High school, perhaps) about your circumstances with regard to tertiary education. Above sport, please encourage acedemia. Extra-mural activities are important, but bursaries cannot be obtained without good acedemic results.

    P.s. I actually came here under the recommendation of a friend who is a parent. Interesting blog. Although I’m still a few years from having a family of my own, I’ll probably stick around for tips. She actually recommended I stop by due to me always speaking about bad parenting (Sorry, that’s not meant at my parents. They tried their best, and I love them for it. I just wish they’d been more open about financial aspects), and how it is a goal for me to be a good parent one day.

    Love xx

  3. Sam

    January 23, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Saving for education is so important! I don’t have any children but I’ve just finished university and I know how difficult it was to pay for university- we used an old mutual education policy, our savings AND we were lucky enough to have a family member offer to cover the cost of a year. It really is best if you start as early as possible.

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