You are trying to determine how much money you need to save, net of loans and grant money, for your children’s college costs. You think you have a handle on this, but have you included the once per week pizza? One pizza a week means $2,000 spent on pizza by the time your son or daughter graduates from a four-year program. What about the occasional beer? OK, she is under 21, so let’s make that soda. I bet you didn’t figure this into your number, because most families plan their college expenses based on figures provided by the colleges and universities themselves, which are very loose estimates on a degree’s cost and essentials such as transportation and textbooks.
The College Board reports that in 2010-2011, students could expect to spend an average of $1,137 on textbooks and supplies, and some textbooks may cost several hundred dollars.
Transportation is another matter and may run several thousand dollars per year depending on whether your child lives on campus or commutes. If her or she commutes, how far and what will the costs be? What is the cost of fuel and maintenance on his or her vehicle?
What if your child decides to live in an apartment? Now you need to add in rent, insurance, groceries and utilities. What about laundry, cell phone and internet service? The list goes on.
Ahh! You knew this was going to be painful. But wait. What happens if you are not here to save or pay for this? What if you get hit by the proverbial bus?
I have a solution. It’s called life insurance. It is a very inexpensive solution, and if you do get hit by the bus, the life insurance can complete your savings and pay for your child’s education. If you don’t have life insurance, you should. Just read one of our LIFE Lessons stories—like Brittney LaCombe’s—to see what happens when you don’t.
Put life insurance into your planning. It’s part of you taking personal financial responsibility for your family.