Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1 Year Old and College Accounts

My son is now 1 year old.  It's a hard transition to make in my mind but as he walks more, has more energy, gets more stubborn, and acts more like a toddler, it gets easier to "see" that he's 1.  When he was first born and in the first days and weeks of his life, there was a part of me that somehow didn't think we'd ever make it here.  I mean, he was so little!  How could he ever be 1 year old?  But he grew and grew and grew and now, here we are.  I have loved every stage so far and as much as I don't want him to grow up, I also can't wait to see what he'll be like next year and the year after. 

We had Josiah's birthday party on Saturday.  All of Daniel's family from Wichita was here and we had a good time.  Josiah got lots of toys and clothes and he definitely enjoys the toys he got.  He's transitioning to bigger kid toys now so he got things more suited to his age and more challenging for him which is good.  However, I think we're going to start something that my parents did for me and my siblings.  When we were growing up, we had 8 aunts and uncles (each of our parents had 4 siblings) plus two sets of grandparents.  That's a lot of toys at each birthday and Christmas.  My parents decided to instead set up a college fund for each of us.  The aunts and uncles and grandparents would contribute to those funds at birthdays and Christmas instead of sending or giving us presents.  We would still get a couple things from Mom and Dad, and Grandma and Grandpa (Dad's parents) who lived very close to us would take us shopping for a gift.  I remember not being too thrilled with the college fund thing as a child but that totally changed when I started looking at colleges as a high school student.  Setting up a college fund for each of us was one of the best things Mom and Dad ever did.  I've had two years of college and still have a chunk of money left in my account.  My sister has her RN and is only now starting to pay for school to get her bachelor's degree.  My older sister and one of my younger brother's probably won't use their money because they have the GI Bill.  My youngest brother is just starting school and he's using his money and my other brother used his to get a trade school degree (mechanic?).  My husband, on the other hand, has a master's degree and we have the value of our house's worth of school debt from that.  His only option was to take out loans but because of that debt that we now have, I especially want to make sure Josiah has at least a couple years of school paid for when he graduates from high school.  Whether he even goes to college is a different issue but I want that option available to him.  Too many young adults these days are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt when they graduate from college, and that's before even buying a house!  We already have a savings account set up for Josiah (which we'll roll over to a 529 account when we have enough money) and we contribute to it pretty regularly but I think in the future, we're going to cut out the mounds of presents and just ask for contributions to his college account instead.  I'm not sure how to broach this topic with the hubby's family... talking about money is always a bit awkward but we have to do what we think is best for our family.  Thankfully, Christmas is still 9 months away!  

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