College Savings, Debt Management & Investing…Oh My!

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My daughter and I had an interesting conversation the other day – of all things, it was about finances.

Apparently, my 14 year old is already worried about how we are going to be able to pay for her college! When we began talking about college a few years ago, I assured her that we would pay for her first four years. Our plan was to start saving and to take out student loans for whatever we weren’t able to save.

Then I left the workforce and became a housewife…so you can imagine what our college savings account looks like right now.

It has $10.12 in it. 

I have always been the financial planner in the family, and used to contribute regularly to our savings account and had my own 401(k) plan. Between buying our first home in 2009 and my husband finishing his bachelor’s degree in 2010, both were depleted. We are just now getting back to the point where I am thinking about our long term financial stability. My husband opened a 401(k) when he began his new job last year, and we are paying down our – mostly my – debts one by one, as extra income comes in.

We aren’t getting any younger, and it occurred to me recently that if we want to actually be able to afford my daughter’s college education in 4 years, and still be able to retire before we’re too old to enjoy it, we need to make some changes. Like, right now. 

With careful budgeting, we should be able to pay off the remainder of our debt within a year. Now that I am bringing in sporadic income from blogging, it’s time I opened up an IRA for myself, since I do not have a 401(k).

And of course, once the debts are paid off, it’s time to look into financial investments for my family. There are so many different avenues to pursue for investing! With the current state of the economy, I have a fear of trusting the stock market. I’ve seen what can happen to investments in stocks firsthand – when the market falls, they do too!

My father has always been into nontraditional financial investments, like buying gold bullion and silver. For my high school graduation, he gave me a gorgeous 1/2 pound lady liberty silver piece. I still have it! He is always encouraging me to invest in silver, like the walking liberty half dollar, because there are two things that never lose their value: silver and gold. And silver is much more affordable to invest in than gold, especially with the price of gold in today’s market!

I would check out a company like ILB for guidance before I made decisions on purchases because there are so many different options out there when it comes to buying silver and gold. Between buying coins, bullion or special collector’s pieces, I simply do not have enough knowledge to make an educated decision about which would be the best investment for my family.

Do you invest? If so, do you stick to playing the stock market, buying real estate, or do you purchase gold and silver?

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I hear ya! It can be so hard to save when life keeps getting in the way. I’m glad that Angeline is conscious though of the cost of college-some kids seem to be so out of it w/ that regard!

  2. says

    We’ve had to start being really careful with our money. I am determined not to use the CC this year, and have it paid off with next year’s tax money.

  3. says

    It is tough, but trying to put back a little here and there, so hopefully it will pay off by the time my son enters college. :)

  4. says

    A few things

    a) you don’t look old enough to have a 14 year old. Lucky duck.
    b) how smart of your daughter to start thinking about how to afford college. I didn’t do it in time, I’m stillll paying for it.
    c) This makes me think that maybe I should have a savings plan for myself and not just my family – I don’t currently have one.

    Thanks for writing this. It got the wheels in my head turning!

  5. says

    I feel you on saving… I’m working on my get my finances back where they were… nice & secure. Luckily it’s just me but because I have no back up plan for care I have to equate all of that in the picture as well.

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