Though it’s typical for parents to underscore the value of a college education from the time their children are in grade school, what’s more commonly overlooked are the benefits of encouraging them to save for their education from a young age. Contributing a small percentage of their allowance, cash gifts, and job income can have a huge impact on their outlook toward both college and their future.
While it’s one thing to stress to your children the innumerable advantages of attending college, requiring that they set aside a portion of their childhood earnings can instill the value of college because of the small, yet personal investment you’re asking them to make. Not only does it teach them the commitment and patience required to save toward a long-term goal, but it also encourages them to take ownership of their own education by asking them to contribute a portion of their own money. Moreover, as they grow, so does the sum of their contributions, affording them with a sense of pride in knowing they’ve subsidized a part of their college education.
Before you begin putting away a portion of their allowance or cash gifts, sit down with your children and explain the reasoning behind your decision, so they fully understand why you’re setting aside some of their money for the future. You might even consider showing them the growing balance of their savings from time to time and even explaining what these figures mean in terms of tuition and other expenses. Stay committed and you’ll likely raise a more responsible and devoted student.
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