Education and how to save for your child’s future

I talk about the importance of saving for your child’s education and how Liberty can help.

Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Liberty.

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It’s no secret how badly I want another baby. To add another little person to our family would make my heart happy and our lives complete. The only problem is that kids are expensive! As much as I would love another little boy to add to our already mischievous and boisterous 2, or a little girl to help balance out all the testosterone in the house, finances are one of our major considerations and why we (Mark mostly) are still holding back.

 According to the experts, the average costs of raising a child is estimated at about R1 000 000 before they even start Grade 1 – crazy to think that there’s 6 zeros for a 6-year-old! Matthew is in Grade R at the moment, I can’t even think how we could’ve spent almost R1 million since his birth.

This is my first year as a school mom (I suppose that’s what I can call myself now), so I had to find my way around the stationary list and school clothes. I admit, I left it for very late and only got the last of Matthew’s school things the day before school started. I shopped around, looked for the best savings for stationary and his school wear and ended up going to about 7 different shops just to save a few Rands. I’m still not sure it was worth it.

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The school we chose for Matthew is one in our area and the fees are very reasonable, like seriously budget friendly, yay to saving! Bonus – it’s the same primary school I attended all those many years ago, so I know he’ll be well looked after by the teachers.

We opened an education policy for Matthew when he was a few months old, however, looking at the figures provided, I think we need to relook at this policy (as well as Ethan’s) and figure something else out. I wish I’d known then about Liberty’s Educator Benefit programme – if we had insured with the life-agency, we could’ve adopted a policy that would cover expenses for primary school, high school, and the boys could even take their pick of Ivy League universities worldwide. They also have a Progressive Educator policy which even affords you monies to pay for textbooks and boarding, not just tuition. Guess who needs to contact Liberty as soon as possible?

It is estimated that 3 years of university education will currently cost R300 000 to R350 000 for tuition fees, required books, accommodation, and board exams and other expenses such as computers, cell phones, internet access. Those are current costs. Matthew still has 13 years to get through before he hits university, I don’t even want to think what varsity costs are going to be like then. Ethan will be following him 3 years later! And I want to add another baby to our family?!?! Am I crazy? Probably…

If you had to start creating a budget, you’ll note that, excluding inflation, your child costs you approximately R90 000 every year. That amount is only for essentials, it doesn’t include holidays, birthday parties, extramural activities not included in school fees, etc. Have you made provisions for your child’s/children’s education? More importantly, what happens if you’re no longer there to pay those bills?

You can check out Liberty’s Educator Benefit programme and the Progressive Educator policy as I mentioned earlier. This is just my thoughts, I’d like to know if you have anything to add, particularly around the costs of education and how you’ve gone about maximising your back to school budget year on year. Give this new school momma some tips please!

You can find out more about Liberty’s Educator Benefit on www.liberty.co.za, or you can ask your financial adviser as soon as you’re done reading this, they’ll be able to tell you more about it.

 

2017 is the year for dreams to be realised

Ever needed time away from everything? I am so glad I took these last 2 weeks to be away from the blog, to regroup, refocus and find my mojo. I am not one of the best story tellers. I envy people who can paint pictures with their words. Who can evoke emotions with the way they tell a story. I want to be one of those people but it’s going to take some work from my side. I’m hoping to share my progress here and would love any feedback you have.

Time for a catch-up

Our Christmas was quiet and the children had the best time. I loved watching their faces light up with delight and wonder over Santa and the gifts they received.

New Year’s Eve was a bit of a let-down. We had friends over and everything was going great until I got the mother of all toothaches. 2017 came in with a bit of pain for me.

It didn’t stop there though. On the heels of that toothache, came a sore throat and then my very first migraine in my life (we’re going on day 9 now of this headache).

Despite the pain that the new year has brought for me, life is going on. We’re in the midst of planning Matthew’s 6th birthday for the 21st. My cousin is getting married the weekend following Matthew’s party and we have her kitchen tea this weekend. Life is so busy with school starting for Matthew, stationary having to be bought, getting Ethan ready to go back to crèche and making sure he’s ready for potty training, and then the first anniversary of losing my mom coming up on the 18th.

We have a child in Grade R

Seriously?!? I am so proud of Matthew and yet have this ball of nerves that’s rolling around inside me. His first day was great! We walked to his class and when we were a few steps from the door, he turns around and just says to me “okay, bye Mommy”. Yes, it’s great that he was so calm and didn’t seem to need me. But I needed him to need me. You know? I wasn’t ready for him to be okay without me. Even though this is how we raised him, to be independent and able to function without us around him all the time. He has gained his independence and as proud of him as I am, I am also mourning the loss of my baby.

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Potty Training

Ethan is really showing his personality now. He’s a strong willed little fella that is giving this mommy more grey hairs than she needs. He defies me at every opportunity and makes me question my ability as a good mom every day. He will be in the potty training class at the crèche in the next month or so and I am not looking forward to it. With his stubbornness and his unwillingness to even tell us when he wants to use the loo, I foresee a lot of tears of frustration and messy episodes in the future.

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Resolutions and goals

I don’t have resolutions for the new year. I don’t have a word or specific goals that I want to share. What I do want from this year is to stress less, relax more, and spend more quality time with my family. I want to share more content on my blog, finally get someone to help me build my website and try to reach more people with this little space of mine.

Let 2017 be the year that we do less stuff and spend more time with our loved ones. Let 2017 be the year that our dreams are realised and goals are reached.