Truth time. Kids are expensive. Like, really expensive. Not to get you down or anything, but I just Googled “how much does it cost to raise a child in 2017” and it seems like the consensus is about $233,000. And that’s until age 17! So if you want to also send your kid to college, you’re not nearly done yet. But we’ll get to that in a second. I have good news there.
When we were talking about having Baby #2 (who you now know as Miss Maggie Mags), one of our serious concerns was whether we could afford it. We didn’t want to have a second kid and find ourselves in a pickle when it came to things like childcare, or health insurance (because we both own businesses we pay individual), or sending them to school. And obviously you know how the story ended, because we’re now a family of four. But you better believe we’re watching our finances like hawks, and we’ve already started saving for both of our kids’ education.
When Henry was born, we had some wonderful, kind relatives ask us about contributing toward his future. They asked us about giving him bonds, which was something we wanted to avoid, just because bonds don’t… do anything. They don’t accrue interest, and the money doesn’t have a specific purpose once the kid has access to it. We did some digging and discovered a much more preferable idea for us, which was a 529 plan. A 529 is a savings plan that you can add money to with the specific purpose of using that money for college once the kid is 18. And it turns out California has its own 529 plan called ScholarShare. It accrues interest, provides great tax breaks, and it guarantees the person gifting the money that it’ll be put toward school and school-related items. It’s literally contributing to a child’s future.
So with all that in mind, we started a ScholarShare account for each of the kids. That way, the money that’s dog eared for each of them stays dedicated to their education. We encourage family and friends who are asking how to contribute to toss a little money in the 529s when they feel like it. We also have automatic deductions coming from our accounts into each of theirs monthly, to get them both off the ground.
I know they’re little, but it still doesn’t feel too soon to start saving. Time flies and even though it makes my breath catch to say it, Henry will be off to school in the blink of an eye and Maggie will follow soon after. It takes a little pressure off to know that we’re already making steps to help them through school. Ryan graduated college with some major school debt, and just knowing the stress and pressure it put on him makes me want to avoid that for our kiddos.
If you have kids, does this stuff stress you out as much as it does me? It’s hard to come face to face with it but taking things one step at a time always makes me feel better. This was a perfect first step for us. I’d love to know your thoughts, and how you tackle planning for your kids’ futures! xoxo
This post is sponsored by ScholarShare, California’s 529 College Savings Plan. All opinions are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!