The truth they say could be stranger than fiction - it is undoubtedly non-fiction that most parents wish to provide their children with the best possible start in life on the road to a successful career. Biodun’s parents were no exception.
Biodun was a promising brilliant kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth. At age 3, Biodun could recite the 26-lettered alphabet flawlessly. He had started learning pronunciation from age 4 and could fluently read a 100-paged book within one week at age 6. His brilliance as confirmed by his busy parents was as a result of the contributions from one of the leading schools and extra classes Biodun attended from crèche to Primary school. His father, who was a senior manager in a leading bank could afford any good and expensive school for him. His young mother, Shalewa was running a small boutique that would break even over a 10-year period all things being equal.
Things were absolutely going well for Biodun’s family until his 8th birthday. Biodun’s father lost his job and the family had to depend on Shalewa’s boutique. Things got so worse that Biodun would soon stop schooling.
Biodun’s abrupt stop in his academic pursuit wasn’t as a result of his parents’ new economic status but absolutely was as a result of their inabilities to plan for his education even before he was born. With a sound financial plan, education expenses do not have to be such a daunting affair.
Please find below 4 smart ways loving parents finance their children’s education despite tough times:
1. Start Saving: There’s no better way to financially prepare for our child’s education than saving for it. But at what point should caring parents start saving for their children’s education? According to HSBC, It would be best to start saving for your child's education as soon as possible; for the earlier you start to plan for your child's education, the longer you'll have to build a pot of funds to cover all the costs. Early start also gives you the greatest possible flexibility in fulfilling your child's needs, while a late start may result in either having to put aside a higher monthly contribution, or worse, not having sufficient funds to provide the education that you want for your child.
2. Have a Budget: It is important that you don’t bite more than you can chew as parents. Know your financial strength and never try to impress neighbours with your child’s school. We’ve seen many parents who incurred huge debts because they wanted their children to attend schools that their neighbours’ children attended. How can you prepare a simple budget for your child’s education? Write down all your monthly income and expenses such as house rent, household maintenance, utility bills etc. viz-a-viz how much you can set aside for your child’s education. In your budgeting, bear in mind that the cost of child’s education is beyond tuition fee. Tuition is only a third of the total annual cost for your child’s education. In addition to tuition, add the costs of books, uniforms, extra-curricular activities and other expenses such as travel expenses during break if your child has picked a foreign education. When estimating the cost of your child's education most especially for tertiary education, also consider how much the living expenses might be.
3. Take advantage of Scholarships, Bursaries and Grants: If your child is a brilliant kid like Biodun earlier mentioned, there’s a possibility for such child to enjoy scholarship, bursary or grant for his education. Many schools offer scholarships for academic, sports, musical or all-round excellence. Scholarships range in value but rarely cover all the fees. Some schools and governments also have bursaries and grants to help parents pay their fees. In some African countries, these are often awarded to families with lower income.
4. Learn to prioritise: A number of parents often time fail to prioritise when it comes to funding their children’s education. You should learn and know what’s paramount in your child’s education and avoid spending on luxuries when you cannot afford them. For example, you might need to cut down how much you spend on holiday trips, children’s amusement parks or unnecessary wears etc.
With the cost of education skyrocketing in this hard time, it is imperative that parents who do not want to gamble with their children’s education put up a good financial plan.
We’ve also observed that many parents in the third world aren’t aware of different education financing options and opportunities offered by financial institutions. We strongly advise parents to consult their financial institutions for various education financing options available. Your children's education should be secure regardless of what happens. Take that bold step now!
Witten by Edusko Team.
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This is what we need in this dwindling economic condition.
What a great piece. Keep up the good work Edusko!
The information is good but could give a more realistic and practical ways for educational funding that relate more to us in Nigeria because the information is quite foreign
I really don't think the info in the article is foreign. Besides, the piece isn't written for Nigerians alone. I particularly like the example in the introduction. Savings is key in child's education planning.
I think the 4 things to consider in this article is a good guidance. But, recently many Nigerian Insurance companies are beginning to wake up to the potential of taking out an insurance policy for this type of situation, There is a caveat though: know the type of insurance that you are taking out because some are very limited in terms of the funding allowed and the timeline.
You're very right. I have an endowment policy geared towards my son educational funding in the future. Great piece from Edusko team I must say.