Why I Need to Win The Lottery
It's not why you think. While it would be nice to win several million so that I could buy a bigger home, take a dream vacation or give it away to my favorite charity, that's not the reason why I need to win the lottery. Why do I need big bucks? Higher education.
I know, he's barely out of Elementary school and I'm already thinking about higher education. Truth be told, I've thought it about it before. When my son was born we did start at 529 for his education, but as he gets older and I hear from friends who have children going off to universities or start looking at schools, I get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Financially, I just can't see how higher education fits into the big picture.
I grew up in a middle class family; closer to upper middle class. I went to college with the help of financial aid and parents and grandparents who helped foot the bill. Back then something like that was possible. Today that is not the case. When I went to school my father worked full time and my mother worked part time. Our family finances were good. I had a savings account with a decent interest return and also had several cds that did well. (You can obviously tell from the previous statements that it was a while ago that I went to college!)
Today, I am the sole provider of our family income and my income has DROPPED in the past several years. I am proud to say that my family is not in debt, but we very easily could be should circumstances change. As I said, we have established a 529 for our son's education, but with the costs associated with school, it's probably enough for books and not much else. Ok, I am exaggerating there, but when the cost of one year tuition (not including room and board and all other incidentals) for most universities is more than I make in a year; it doesn't take much of a genius to realize that costs are way out of whack.
Of course there are student loans. I'll admit I've done NO research there whatsoever. But over the course of his life, I've always advocated being debt free. (As was advocated to me by my family.) If costs continue to skyrocket and my salary doesn't, student loans would be a big part of my son's college education. I have a real problem with that. What a way to start adult life: you've just graduated from college and are (hopefully) starting a new job and now you've got a debt that you won't be able to pay off unless YOU win the lottery.
So as I stand here now, sending my son off to middle school where I am sure he will get a good education and wondering what will happen after high school. Wondering what higher education is really worth. And if he's right for it and it for him.
We have time to consider all the options. But as it stands now, if my child really wants to go to college, the lottery is looking like the only way we'd be able to pay for it. (God forbid he wants to get a masters or doctorate! Then I'd have to win multiple times!)