My daily work involves assessing, making recommendations, giving advice or just an opinion on a particular matter. Quite often I am asked what I would do or perhaps have done myself in a similar situation. For the most part I usually happy to share my own experiences.
An excellent example is my own monthly Investment Savings accounts. I have three kids, two of whom are in college. My eldest is in her fourth and final year and will likely continue for a further two years to complete her masters. My second little lady has just started college this year. All going to plan, my youngest little scholar will enter college in another four years.
Particularly when kids live away from home during this period, it can be a hugely expensive time. According to the latest DIT assessment, the cost of living for a student away from home for the 2020/2021 college year is expected to equal €11,948.25. For most, that is after taxed income. For those able to commute and live from home, their costs are likely to equal €6,305.25. That is each and every year while they are at college. I bet no one ever shared this little nugget when you were planning a family….
Taking my own advice, almost from day one I have redirected the Children’s Allowance into a monthly investment savings plan. As the next bundle of joy arrived, payments were increased in line with the additional payment. After 21 years of saving which I will continue for the duration, it has paid huge dividends. I have made a tidy return and can dip into this as payments are needed and college costs arise. By the end of the college years I expect I will have used the account in its entirety however, it has been a god send and is proving to have been a very wise decision.
So if I can give any parent one little piece of advice from my own experience, start your college savings early, stick to it for the duration and reap the benefits. It is not pleasant having to write large cheques for books, fees and accommodation each year however, thankfully it is something I do not have to lose any sleep over.
Particularly when banks, the post office and credit union are paying little or no interest, monthly investment savings offer an excellent alternative by allowing you to grow your savings in real terms. If you would like information or advice, I would be delighted to hear from you.
Link to DIT current survey – Click Here