Planning for life’s events

Hello everyone:

There are some events that you need to plan for, if you have children: college and weddings. Both are huge expenses, the former usually more so than the latter. How will your children fund their college? Will they start out at a community college, taking lower level core classes, and then transfer to a 4-year institution? Will they be able to get a college scholarship (or two) or will you be responsible for paying their whole way?  Will you decide that they need to pay for college themselves? Will they want to go to college, or will a trade school be in their future plans? Will they work part or full time and go to school part time?

As a community college faculty member, I see students who work more than one job and still attend class full time. Most of the time, they look exhausted. The ones who live on their own look even more tired as they work a low-paying job while trying to focus on their future. Is this the path you want your children to take?

By planning ahead, you can take some of the burden off of the students in your family and be a real blessing to them as they complete their college education.  That is what my parents did and they have now helped their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with the high cost of education.

What about weddings? They can be pretty pricey these days; some couples want the “Say Yes to the Dress” experience (dresses start at about $2,000 at the Atlanta version of this show; the sky’s the limit at the New York version’s “Say Yes” wedding boutique).  As a fan of the show, I have seen brides who cared nothing about a so-called budget; they wanted the dress that they wanted and Daddy’s finances made no difference in the world.

Please don’t let that be your approach to weddings; your daughter is going to look incredibly beautiful on her big day, no matter what she wears.  You can have a lovely wedding without breaking the bank, but please plan ahead for the day so that it can be a modest, yet superb gathering for friends and family.

What plans do you have for preparing for life’s events? I would love to hear your suggestions.

Best,

Dr. Sheri

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