When the college admissions scandal news came out, one of my best friends posted this photo of herself graduating from USC with the following caption...
I thought it was the perfect thing for April's Fool's Day, as it's funny AND obviously a joke.
Let me be serious for a minute....what the college admissions scandal shows us is that money can buy you into wherever you want to go, and that you don't need to learn anything in school or really, why even try to get into schools on your own merits?
I'm so proud of getting myself into a few different universities and then, putting myself through school. I went to NYU, which is a very expensive private school located in a very expensive part of a very, very expensive city...New York. My parents made too much money, for me to qualify for grants. Fortunately, I did get a substantial scholarship, but it didn't cover everything. So, I took out student loans, and I worked...three jobs! Let's see, I worked at an art gallery, where I met one of my very best friends. I worked at an investigative firm (yes, it was a detective agency), where I got paid quite well to write up reports, based on case files. I also got two paid internships, one at a shady ad agency, where I met another one of my good friends, and also at WCBS in NYC. I got paid a stipend, as the News Director at WNYU, the college radio station, and I worked a late night shift most Fridays, as a Desk Assistant at CBS Radio. As a senior, I applied and received more scholarships, and I graduated within 4 years. What I can tell you is, I'm glad my parents didn't pay for my education. Sure, it would've made it a bit easier to NOT start out my working years with over $30,000 in student loan debts. However, I wouldn't be where I am today and talking to you about money, if my parents had paid off my student loan debts.
Which brings me to my last point...if you don't have your debts paid off, at least 3-6 months of an emergency savings (more if you're in a volatile field, like the entertainment industry, the Arts, or even your own business), and haven't saved for retirement, please don't prioritize your child's college education, right now. Who knows if they even want to go to a traditional university? If they do, they'll have options, like grants, scholarships, loans and even, good old-fashioned work! However, there aren't grants, scholarships, or loans for retirement. It's like being on an airplane where the flight attendants remind you to put on your own mask first and then put it on your child's. In life and with your money, please take care of yourself first! If you don't worry about money because you have all of your proverbial ducks in a row, then you're going to raise conscious children with strong work ethics and a healthy attitude about money. If you're stretching yourself too thin, by not taking care of yourself or your money, then your children will also feel that stress and worry and take it on.
In March, I spoke at two workshops and a webinar about how to shift your mind from your money worries. So, if you don't want to always have to have your "mind on your money and your money on your mind," sign up here for a free 1-hour financial session. Even if you do, sign up anyway! That way, you can get one step closer to having the true freedom you really want! By the way, for the webinar, I created a quickie one-sheet on How to Negotiate 101. Click below if you want it.
Please leave me any comments below on any questions you may have about funding your child's college education, your retirement, paying off student loan debts, or anything regarding your money, and I'll answer you back either below or in a future blog post.