To go or not to go to college?

In my first post, I shared my grandmother’s advice to study hard, get a good job, and save money. I think many of you would agree that it is also the advice that you have received while growing up.

Then we learned that some billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg did not attain college degrees, and yet, they are successful.

Therefore, most students would wonder if they need to go to college. Another factor that would discourage them from attending college is the steep tuition fees resulting in hundreds of thousands of student loan debt.

Then after graduation, it is a struggle to stay afloat as they start paying their student loans, rent, auto loans, and daily expenses.

The other day, my daughter asked if college is mandatory.  I answered with a firm “Yes!”.  

Dave Ramsey once mentioned that he told his kids that they are going to college, and there is no question about that. It is an expectation. 

When we were growing up, we never thought of whether to go to college or not. The questions were: What course should I take? What university should I go to? We know that after high school, the college education follows.

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Although having a college degree is not an assurance of success, it provides more job opportunities with higher earning potential. When there are more opportunities, there are more options. 

When we have more options, we improve our chances of gaining satisfaction with our job. Job satisfaction with financial stability promotes contentment and happiness.

When we are happy with what we do for a living, we continue learning to improve ourselves and contribute to the people around us.

I want to emphasize that it is not having a high salary that would make us happy, but finding joy in what we do. Just like the saying, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

Having said all that, we could not discount the fact that we need to prepare for the college education expenses. On top of the mortgage, auto loan/s, day-to-day costs, elementary tuition fees, after-school expenses, etc., we also need to prepare for our retirement. 

Thankfully, there are College Planning Programs (CPP) that would assist us with strategizing on funding college education. The CPP also helps assess the students’ interests, skills, and work values; colleges/universities selection; college applications; essay reviews; scholarship assistance, and so much more.

As much as we want to help our kids go to college and avoid having student loans, we also need to make sure we are self-sufficient when we grow old. The last thing we want is for our children to bear the burden of our poor financial planning. 😉

My questions for you: (Please type your response in the comments.) 

  • Do you recommend having a college degree or not?
  • If yes, what are your steps in preparing for the college expenses?
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Grateful for Nanay’s money lessons.

NANAY ON HER BIRTHDAY

I was born and raised in the Philippines.

I grew up with my grandmother (we call her Nanay), an entrepreneur, a real estate investor with several rental properties. She has greatly influenced me with managing my finances by living below our means, knowing the importance of saving money, and spending based on what we need. 

When I was in 4th grade, Nanay opened my first bank account. At that time, we have a bank passbook. I still remember that we need to bring it to the bank to deposit or withdraw money. The bank teller would update the outstanding balance by printing it on the passbook

Nanay would routinely check the passbook balance to see if I was saving more money from my allowance.

To expedite my savings account’s growth, I bought candies from my relative’s store and sold those to my classmates during recess and lunch time.

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My savings grew over the years as I have thought of other things to sell to my classmates and friends. Selling not only improved my savings account but, more importantly, my social skills. 

I am usually timid at first but after warming up, I joke around and talk more.

It was not the amount of money that made me want to earn more, but the confidence and sense of control it provided. The thought of being capable of buying what I want whenever I want it empowers me. There is a sense of pleasure in being able to decide whether to buy something or not because of reasons that does not include being unable to afford it.

My grandmother taught me to be frugal, helped me develop the habits of saving, determining ways to earn, including the traditional advice of studying hard to be able to get a high-paying job.

I hope she’s still alive so she could read this blog to know how much I appreciate all the lessons I learned from her. 

Thank you Nanay, for providing me financial education.

Now, let’s all improve our financial literacy, so we will all be on track with our journey towards assured tranquility!