Educational planning for your children

3 December 2016
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Category New Families
3 December 2016, Comments 0

Many parents have the same goal in their parenthood, and that is giving their children the best education they can possibly afford. Yet, truth of the matter still stands: education is not cheap, especially quality education. Depending on how old your child is, this may or may not seem familiar to you. Perhaps you may think that you are able to afford the best education with the amount of wealth that you already have; most parents fall into this trap of thinking that education is affordable, until tuition and school fees, school supplies and allowance begin to add weight onto their already heavy costs. Without proper planning and measures taken, quality education is extremely difficult to provide for your children.

educational-planning-for-your-children

With all that said, it may seem that it is only natural that planning for your child’s education is of great importance. However, it may seem off-putting at first – scary, even. With all the loans, savings, grants and scholarships that are available, it is very tedious to research on what is the most suitable way to approach planning for education. Hence, here are 5 steps to take to plan for your child’s education.

Plan in advance

Consider where you envision your child will be in the years to come. In Singapore, the education system is highly competitive, much like many major cities in Southeast Asia. Hence, to be able to make it to the best educational institutions, be sure to plan in advance the journey to be taken by your child. Here are some questions to ponder about:

  1. Are academics or passions priority?
  2. What kind of education (private/public) will your child be receiving?
  3. What are the costs incurred?
  4. When will your child begin tuition (if any at all)?
  5. What is the ultimate goal at the end of the journey (tertiary)?

It is important to ponder about these questions and consider whether their educational journey will be an expensive one. From this journey, you are then able to map out where the costs should be going to and what can be done to afford these costs.

Drawing out a plan on a piece of paper makes it better to illustrate clearly the entire process, leading up to the final goal.

Estimate the projected funds that you will have

Figure out how much you currently have in your savings and the rate of income and increase in savings. From this, you should be able to estimate the total amount of money you would have when your child is about to enroll for university, or their final education point. This is important as you will then understand the necessary steps that have to be taken in order to achieve the goal that you have in mind for your child.

This can be done either on an Excel spreadsheet or record book with a simple calculator.

Figure out the additional amount still required

After tallying the costs required for your child’s education and the projected amount that you and your spouse will be able to spend, work out the shortfall and begin to work a plan out.

Possible scenarios:

  1. The shortfall is too great and the prospect seems too dim and risky: consider changing the route of your child’s education.
  2. The shortfall is too great but we have a stable income and savings routine: seek for additional aid that will help you achieve your goals.
  3. The shortfall is very minimal: consider if this route can be further improved, otherwise you are pretty much set.

It will be good to talk it out with your child if he or she is old enough and begin to discuss about their passions and what they want to do in the future. This will give you a clearer idea of the right pursuit of education for your child.

Research

No matter what your path looks like and the risks involved, it is always good to have more help whenever you can afford it. Research more on government grants and bursaries, which can help to alleviate your costs. Attend seminars to learn more about the planning process for your child and policies that may be of benefit to both you and your child. The Indonesian education system has scholarships that will greatly improve the situation of your child’s education, hence do more research on that too.

Being well-equipped with all these aids is absolutely crucial. It may seem that you are ready enough without these aids, but in reality it is much better to over-prepare – especially when your child’s future is at stake.

Prepare an alternative plan

While you may think that everything has been carefully planned out for your child, it is never too safe to assume that hiccups will occur along the way. While top universities are the main aim for most parents, it is never a guarantee that a spot can be secured. Hence, always consider an alternative plan for the worst case scenario.

  1. What if my child is unable to attend the ideal school?
  2. What if I make a mistake along the way and delay the process?
  3. What if my child decides to make a change in route?

These questions are worthy to be pondered about. Think in detail how these may or may not affect you in the future, then work out an alternative plan. Remember, when it comes to your child’s future, it is never too safe to assume that something will go wrong.

With all these tips, hopefully you will be able to come up with a solid plan for your child’s education.

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