There are no free lunches when it comes to funding for College Education!!!

My personal story
Our twins Liam & Niall were born over 19 years ago and what a special day that was. New life is great. How the intervening years have flown by!! This month they commenced Third level College here in Galway after 6 years in the Jes, another new chapter in their young lives. I have always been a great saver from the first time I commenced working in this Industry back in 1986. So, when the twins arrived in mid-July of 2000, I made it my business to start saving for whatever they wanted to do post, their Leaving Certificate. I had a goal and now I had a plan. I decided from once they were born to redirect their monthly child benefit of circa €250 at that juncture, into a medium to long term savings plan. I increased this monthly amount periodically over the intervening 19 years. (The current monthly child benefit for one child is €140). This month I do not have to borrow from my local bank or credit union as I have this savings pot to support the many costs of going to Third Level. Luckily from a financial perspective they are attending college in Galway and not in one of the other Third Level institutions in Ireland or Overseas, where expensive accommodation is required. We have all heard of the high cost of rents in our main cities in the last few years.

The Cost of College Education
It’s not surprising to learn that accommodation and college fees are the highest spend during a College year. The cost of accommodation (if applicable) for a College year ranges from €3,000 – €4,000 depending if you are paying for rented or student accommodation. When you include transport, fees, food & discretionary spend (students’ night’s out) the annual cost for a year in College can reach circa €10,000 p.a. per student. When you consider most College courses run for 4 years this amounts to a whopping €40,000 in total for most courses. These funds need to be sourced somewhere at the time of entry to College. The funding is from net income, so it makes it particularly difficult from a financial point of view

Start as soon as possible and plan forward
We all wish our children to have the best possible start in life. For most of us ensuing they get a decent education is crucially important. But a wish is not worth a fleeting thought, if you do not have a plan. Start saving early (when your child is born) to fund or part fund this significant cost. This will give you the financial wherewithal to fund their future educational needs. You can benefit from the higher returns available from the market place if your savings time horizon is long enough.

Get Appropriate advice
In my previous young scouting days in the 6th Galway Troop here in Salthill our motto in the Scouts was ‘bí ullámh’. (Be prepared).  At CityLife Galway we can assist you in putting in place, a suitable bespoke savings plan to fund your son’s or daughter’s future College education.

Give us a call today at 091-520608 and discover how we can help you save towards your child’s graduation!!

Education’s purposes is to replace an empty mind with an open one’. Malcolm Forbes

Niall Rooney
Financial Planning Manager
City Life Galway