This is a sponsored post, which means I was compensated and/or given free product in exchange for my honest opinions and review.
The Importance of Education
Education has always been extremely important to me. As I was going through high school, it was expected that I would go on and further my education, which I did.
My first year in college was a little rough, but then I transferred schools (Go Wildcats!) and loved it. Even with transferring, I was able to graduate in 4 years with almost a 4.0 grade point average. I took a couple of years off, but then went back and earned my Master’s in Business, while working part-time.
I really enjoyed my college experience, and I think that education has helped me in so many different areas of my life. I really want that experience for each of my boys.
Kindergarten to College Education?
I know what you’re probably thinking. Your oldest son is only in kindergarten, why would you be thinking about college now? Well, first I’m a big planner. Remember my goal posts, my bucket lists, and my 30 things before the end of my 30’s posts? Yeah, I’m a big list maker too.
Second,college is really, really expensive. If I want to help my children be able to go to school, I really have to start saving now. Seriously.
Plus, Kindergarten happened in the blink of an eye. One minute, I’m looking at my beautiful baby, and the next I’m waving to him as he gets on the bus.
So, I don’t think it’s ever to early to prepare when the value of an education is so great.
I Can’t Save Now
Even though I say I want to start saving now, it’s really not realistic. We have lots of expenses, and we are only a one income family. That doesn’t mean that I can’t start preparing for their education in other ways.
Luckily, I was contacted and sent a great book on how to pay for college. It answered so many questions that I already had, plus gave me answers to things I didn’t even know to ask. If you have high school age children, or if you are thinking of going to college yourself (or if you’re like me and want to start preparing now,) you need to read this book. This book will help you figure out how to pay for a higher education.
A Parent’s Guide to Paying for College
A Parent’s Guide to Paying for College by Richard W. Preston is a great resource for everything related to money and higher education. It’s a step-by-step guide that answers questions about financial aid, applying for scholarships, applying for grants, and so much more. If you don’t know where to begin and you’re thinking about college for your kids (or even for yourself), this book is a great place to start.
Richard is a parent just like us. He has been through the process, and now uses his knowledge to help other people. His first attempt trying to help his son was a complete mess, only resulting in $2300 from a Stafford Loan. By the next year, he was able to get $18,000 worth of aid, mostly in grants that did not need to be paid back. Using that experience, he went on to work in the financial services industry for the next 20 years, and has been helping other parents. He’s now written this book to reach an even wider audience.
He breaks the book into easy to follow chapters, and guides you right through the steps you need to take. He also gives you timelines, helps you understand the forms you will be filling out, and gives you alternate resources to find money. He explains the differences between loans and grants, as well as the importance of applying for Financial Aid, as opposed to a home equity loan.
When it comes to finances and financial decisions, I really need all the help I can get. Richard’s book was easy for me to understand because he gave important background information and definitions.
As I mentioned earlier, I got both my Undergrad and Graduate degrees. I did apply for scholarships, but never applied for Financial Aid. My Dad always thought he made too much money for me to qualify. This book dispels that thought. I really wish we would have had this book when I was going to school because it would have taken a lot of the pressure off them and my Grandma (who was a big help.) I’m just so glad that I have it now.
If you are interested in purchasing Richard’s book, simply click on his book’s title A Parent’s Guide to Paying for College and you’ll be taken to Amazon through my affiliate link. The book is very reasonable at only $6.99. I’d say it is a pretty wise investment in you and your children’s future education.
You can also learn more about Richard on his Website and Facebook Page.
Have you helped pay for your children’s education? Do you have any high school age kids? How about going back to school yourself?
That sounds like a really helpful book to help parents learn more about saving for their children’s education. Very cute pics of your son, too! – Trish
Lindsay (@itssimplylinds) says
This sounds like a wonderful book. My husband and I have been discussing this recently, so I think this book would really help us.
Awesome! Thank you!
Ros Emely@stressfreemommies says
Thank you for this great review! I think it’s important to start thinking about your kids education even if they are still too young. They just grow too fast! I am going back to school again and have applied for financial aid, I do not want to do loans. The price of the book is very reasonable. .thanks!
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!
Yes! saving for college is so important!
Wow so many great tips here! College is so expensive 0.0
Great forward thinking, Shann! It’s never too early! We were thinking of starting a college fund for our daughter very soon to begin our saving for college process. I will definitely look into this book. Thanks for sharing! We all need to start saving smartly now!
Agreed. Thank you for your comments!
Sounds like a great book! I’m not much of a planner-really wish I was!! But this would definitely be helpful!
Great! Thank you!
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says
I’m currently in college right now, and I am STUNNED at how expensive how it is. I’m already stressing about how I’ll pay for my own children’s education, and that is decades away.
Definitely check out this book. It will make you feel better about the options that are out there.
This books sounds super helpful. My family is working with one income as well so our budget is tight but as you said, you can always begin to prepare in other ways!
Joan Harrington says
Thanks for sharing this awesome resource for how to save for college Shann! Looks like a great book to learn how 🙂
My Urban Family says
Sounds like a great book! My husband and I paid for our own school experiences and we always joke that if we could do it our kids will have to as well ha but in all seriousness I’m sure we will sit down at some point after having kids and come up with a plan.
I think it’s great that you’re planning already for them. It really is crazy expensive so you do have to start thinking about it early! I know your boys will be very well off for their education thanks to such caring parents 🙂
I wish I would’ve known more about saving for college myself when I was younger. Definetly doing it now for my kiddos though!
Sara Strand says
Matt and I really differ on this. He wants to pay for college as much as possible because his parents did. But he wasted $15K at his first attempt and didn’t get a degree, and then his second attempt was only $12K and he made it. Then they spent WELL OVER $30K for the sister (who also spent a semester abroad) who, after 4 years, was asked to leave because she wasn’t going to pass. Then the brother… at least another $30K there for his multiple attempts and no degree. Whereas I had to pay for it by myself through loans, and I worked three jobs (2 of them full time) in college, all at the same time, and I slept in my car in the school parking lot because then I knew I could get to class on time. And I made it on my first try. It’s not to say I wouldn’t help my kids, but I feel like if you want to get anywhere in life, you need to rely on you. Don’t expect or hope for help because that’s not how it works in real life.
Wow. His parents spent a lot of money on not a lot of actual education. My parents helped me only because I was serious, and worked hard. Even with transferring, I got out in 4 years with a degree.
This book can help your kids really help themselves.
Your story is so cool! It’s great that you were so successful in college. And I agree – kids grow up so fast! I don’t want to get to that point and be unprepared. Plus, college is only getting more expensive – ugh.
It definitely is. This book is such a great preparation tool. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
Thank you for the book recommendation! My son is just a baby, but we’re seriously considering starting a college fund. It’s never too early to plan for a good education.
Exactly! And for $6.99, you can’t go wrong.
Seriously scary. Mine are almost 1 and 2, I don’t want to think about college yet but know I have to!
This book made it seem less scary and more manageable. 🙂
Great post! We don’t have children yet, but we definitely plan on creating a separate bank account specifically for their college fund. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to get my degrees pretty cheaply ($40k for 6 years of school and 3 degrees as opposed to my sister who is spending a total of $200k+ for just 4 years of school and 2 degrees…no joke), but I don’t want my children to have to worry about how they’re going to afford their education. It can be very stressful to turn 18 and all of a sudden have to take out a gigantic loan to pay for school. I want to be able to help as much as possible.
Yes, me too. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by 🙂
Thanks for this. It’s definitely something to think about. If only I had read this 7 years ago I could have definitely saved myself some money along the way.
Anamika Ojha says
This book sounds very helpful to parents in managing Financial Aids for their Kids education. I will share this with my friends. Thanks Shann for sharing this post.
Wonderful. Thank you Anamika!
Such an important idea, especially considering the costs of education these days.
Christine - The Choosy Mommy says
I just can’t even think about my 3 year old and 6 month old going to college. It is going to be like 10 TIMES more expensive than it already is. There is no way I’ll be able to afford it. Hopefully they get scholarships or something, but like you, I didn’t. Might have to check out this book to see what he says about the future! Thanks for sharing.
I know, it’s so hard to think that far ahead for me too. However, this book is really helpful if thinking about any kind of private education too.
Jennifer | Modern Chic says
Really great tips! I have a few friends who will definitely want to check out this book. Thanks!
Awesome! Thank you!
Wow. This makes me so glad I don’t live in the states. I don’t understand why anyone lives there, TBH. College is way too expensive, there’s constant gun violence . . . I think it’s great that you’re sharing this with other Americans but I’m so glad I’d never need this book. The cost of college in the states in unacceptable, and yet people accept it. I’m not sure why.
Parents with small kids should really check out this book. It’s important to save for your kids college education as early as possible.
Rachel (@thedigger0) says
Planning for education is a great idea. That way you won’t be in for any surprises. Richard’s books sounds like value for money.
Definitely. Thank you, Rachel.
Jennifer C. says
I’m going to have to check out this book for sure! Thanks for recommending!