Since my last post on children was so well received, I figured I’d write another one. These posts help me too, as I think carefully about what I will say to my children when the time is right. Even though my husband and I don’t currently have children, I feel it’s only a matter of time before I actually will have children. I want to make sure that I’m on the best financial ground possible before I have kids. I want them to know that their mother loved them enough to give them the truth about finance rather than just what I though would go over well. I want to always tell everyone the truth. Finance is what you make of it, but the reality is that you have more power over your finances than you might expect.
College is something that’s come up a lot in the news, especially for my American friends. They are writing to me and telling me that new reports are coming out that it’s really going to be much more difficult to send their children to college. The rising cost of education is due to a lot factors, but those factors don’t really matter when you can’t afford a good education. Getting grants and loans to go to college is one thing, but I think the conversation goes outside of these boundaries.
What we really need to be asking here is should we really encourage children to still think about college. If college keeps going higher and higher and salaries are going lower and lower or even becoming nonexistent as information gets easier and easier to update automatically, is college still the good buy?
In my opinion, it depends on what education track you’re pursuing. I think that the hard sciences and mathematics are always going to be in season. These are skills that can be translated into a lot of different industries. There are very few fields that don’t require some form of math, somewhere down the line.
Technology oriented educations are also good bets. If you can teach yourself computer science or programming, you’re going to have really no problem at all getting a job that will serve you well into the future. Some people feel that technology has taken over everything, but why is this a bad thing?
Don’t just tell children to follow their passions. If you’re going to put money behind something like going to school, you might as well make sure that it’s a solid investment.
Keep looking around for other job tracks and even leads in the area. This wouldn’t be a bad time to encourage children to look for internships, paid and unpaid. An unpaid internship might not give you money, but it definitely does give you connections. You don’t want to feel like it’s impossible to see your children grow and thrive.
Even though my children aren’t here yet, I want them to be safe. I want them to be happy. I want them to be able to still go far in life.
Yes, even the top planners have had to turn to payday loans in a down economy, but the more you plan raises your honest chances of getting things together with your finances over time. Isn’t that something we need to have our children fight for? I think it is.
What alternatives do children really have if they don’t go to college? Well, they can always build multiple streams of income online. This is something that doesn’t require a degree, and there are still plenty of opportunities online to explore. It’s just a matter of having the discipline to teach yourself and grow at the same time. It can be done.
There are also plenty of fields that don’t require a degree. You can get into offline sales and marketing without having even any experience — everyone will train you as you go along. You just have to have the right amount of drive to make things happen.
Good luck to you all out there having these tough conversations with your children. It’s not easy, but it is definitely worth it!