We just got back from another parent weekend, this time visiting our college freshman in the Midwest. For Tim and me, there is nothing better than seeing our happy student in his element. He worked hard his senior year in high school, not only in his coursework and extracurricular/volunteer activities, but to complete the college applications process. To know that our son has found a school that suits him is gratifying. Which is especially significant since the tuition payment for next term is due soon.
Tuition is one of our favorite ways to spend money. Our sons’ education is our top priority. Visiting the boys in their new home cities is another.
Our protocol with the boys is that we get to come to parent weekend their freshman year. We expect to see them for one dinner (friends are welcome) and for church and breakfast (one of these is optional) on Sunday before we head back to the airport. Everything else – shopping downtown, lunches off campus, the fall chorus production – is in the sole discretion of the boy. We have, on parent weekends, sat in the rain for a football game, rushed through the rain to get to the theater, gotten drenched en route to the opening of the new business building, and once we ran a 5K in mist and drizzle to support the campus ministry efforts. As a practical matter, we usually end up with more time with the kid than we bargained for. We meet some of his friends, sometimes a few other parents, watch the young man thrive in his natural habitat. We purchase a few umbrellas.
This is now our third son to go away to college. All three have attended different schools. As parents, we delight in seeing each one find his own way.
When I peruse the family finances at the end of the year, the university, college and high school our sons attend remain our most significant expenditures. It is fulfilling to see our values reflected in our check register.
Whether your priority is tuition, travel or philanthropy, we can help you plan so that your spending will align with your core values. That’s what we mean by Empowered Financial Planning.