I know it’s a month and half more before school starts and I’m proud to say I’ve already paid my son’s school fee. To be honest, it wasn’t a walk in the park. And this, so far has been my third time to pay early all through out my son’s school life.
When we first signed him up for Pre-Kinder, I was able to manage saving for his school funds by rendering a lot of overtime in the office. It felt like a major accomplishment pooling funds for something the first time. I congratulated myself by having a nine day long vacation at different places in Zambales.
On his next year, we just move in a new neighborhood. With a lot of expenses here and there, the initial plan of having it on a quarterly basis changed to monthly, since the difference in savings was not that much. This went until the second and third year when things are just about starting to stabilize.
On the fourth year of paying for his tuition fee, I decided to go on a quarterly basis since it takes much of time to meet the cashier every month. This way, I only have to meet and pay the cashier 4 times a year, instead of 8.
Now on the fifth year of paying it, my second born just celebrated his first birthday and the money gifts were more than enough to cover for my firstborn’s school tuition fee.
So we decided to go all in, then we celebrated.
Since I’ve already took care of my son’s tuition fee in full, I felt like I have a lot extra every month to use somewhere else. This gave a huge headache when I realized: I don’t have any money yet for books and supplies.
Since we just came from a long vacation, we pretty much used up a lot of our savings (the concept of money jars wasn’t a thing yet). We were able to cut down on some little expenses here and there and of course, overtime in the office was the thing.
Since it gave us a huge headache – the kind you don’t want to experience again, I decided to fail proof paying it next year by saving for it right away. The moment I was able to keep my head up after the books and supplies mishap, I started saving up for my son’s tuition fee. And I can’t just save any amount, I have to calculate how long I have to save up for it, and how much I have to keep every payday.
So this is the year. Finally after six years of trying to make it work it finally worked. Since it only happens once a year now, I’m proud how I was able to save up for. There are still a few tweaks and there but I’m pretty assured that next year, I’ll be able to save up for it with lesser headeache. I’m already starting to save up for his next school year and after that, I’ll have two boys going to school. Yikes.
When I first started paying for my son’s tuition fee, it felt like an accomplishment. But now, to be honest, it felt more of a responsibility I can’t runaway from. It’s not just like my phone plan that I can terminate after 2 years but I am going to do this for the next 19 years!
So I made little goals out of it. These are:
1.) Be able to secure at least a year’s college education.
Since my first born’s first year of college will be 10 years from now, I decided to go for long term investments with a bonus of getting something in case of my untimely demise. I went for an insurance who will invest my money on stocks that are high in risk, but are also high in returns. Considering the time I have to save up to it, equities are the way to go.
2.) set a cushion of one year’s tuition fee for the kids and their supplies
Since there might be need for this anytime soon, I went on saving on UITFs. It is not insured like your bank deposits but they are easily available through your banks. I went in on agressive for this one too, since it’s a cushion and acquired for something that I am already saving up for, I have other sources of income that could cover in case of an urgent need. I gave myself a 5 year horizon for this.
If I continue saving a little each month for something that is definitely going to happen in the future and letting go of the petty expenses (like that new promo from my favorite pizza company), I’m redesigning my future with my family. Just by saving a little extra per month makes way to less headache in the future.
For every parent who pays for their children’s school fee – I salute you. It is definitely not easy. No one said during our ambition talk that they want to pay for tuition fees for a least 20 years of their lives but here we are, making it possible.
Is paying for your children’s tuition fee giving you a headache, or have you already aced it? Let me know at the comments below!