The Orange County Register ran an interesting statistic in Saturday´s paper. According to an AllianceBernstein Investments Inc. Study 58% of parents spent more money eating out or ordering food for takeout in the past year than they saved for their children´s college education.
It made me consider how much I spend on items and how I might be able to match some of that money to save for my daughter’s (soon to be two daughters) future college and wedding expenses.
For instance, I love coffee. Not just like it, but love it. I got it honestly, as everyone in my family, from since I could remember, always kept a pot brewing from morning until night. They weren´t decaf drinkers, either. My mom can down a few pots a day and still go to bed at nine. So, even just the smell of coffee brings back those warm fuzzies.
I can´t resist coffee. When I was working outside of the home, each morning I would stop at the local 7-11 (yes, if you have not had their coffee, try it!) for a Blueberry coffee with vanilla creamer, which I would drink on the way to work. I can´t remember the cost of it; it´s not as expensive as, say, a latte at a chain coffee shop, but the dollar or so per day adds up. That´s five a week, twenty a month, or $240 a year. If I’d been drinking a $3 per day coffee, multiply that total by three and I’d have spent nearly $720 a year on coffee.
However, I would never give up that cup of coffee! I enjoyed it, and really looked forward to it each morning. What I might do instead now is consider whether I could afford to match that with money that I might put into my daughter´s savings account. As you go through the week, consider the miscellaneous money that you spend on items. Can you match some of that and put it away for your child´s education?
I don´t think we should give up buying the things that make us feel good, especially if they are as small as a cup of coffee on our way to work. But I do think we should also consider ways in which we can save money for the future, or for our children. If a dollar a day for coffee doesn´t seem extreme, neither does a dollar a day for our child´s education.
Just a thought to get you considering how you might save additional money throughout the year so that at year eighteen the enormous cost of college doesn´t creep up on you!