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On Why I’m Already Stressing Out About My Baby’s College Education

By Lauren Hartmann |

Collegiate Gear For Babies

Future OSU alumni? If college prices keep going up, this shirt may read 20-never.

My husband’s family has a love for Oregon State University that runs deep. My mother-in-law went there, my husband went there, his brother went there and I went there. This little shirt that Fern is wearing? It was my husband’s when he was a baby, a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will, since he ended up going to school there, and one that I’m certain he hopes that Fern will continue.

But…recently I googled information about what the estimated price for a college education in the year 2030 (the year in which Fern could potentially start) would be and I just about had a heart attack in front of my computer.

I found this college savings calculator and put in our information to calculate the costs since we haven’t started saving for college yet. According to the calculations, if Fern were to go to a 4-year, in-state, public university when she’s 18, the cost (with a 5% inflation rate) is estimated at $189,823!  Apparently I should be saving $385 a month starting rightthisverysecond if I want to be able to afford this. Oh…and that’s only if I manage to find an investment with a 6% return on my money. If I just sock the money away under my mattress, I should be saving $720 a month.  I’m too scared to even let my brain consider what the cost for a second child would be.

This is definitely not an affordable figure for us, which is stressful to say the least, especially since we’re on a pretty tight budget these days and saving nearly $400 a month is a complete impossibility. I’m trying not to freak out about it, but it’s a little insane. And let’s not even talk about the possibility of paying for a wedding one day – I may have an aneurism.

Have any of you started saving for college yet?  Or are you not worrying about it yet?  Tell me I’m not the only one having nightmares about this.

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

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About Lauren Hartmann


Lauren Hartmann

Lauren Hartmann is a wife, wardrobe stylist, and mama living in Portland, Oregon. She writes about her adventures in motherhood on Babble's Baby Channel. You can also find her blogging at The Little Things We Do or obsessively partaking in social media. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “On Why I’m Already Stressing Out About My Baby’s College Education

  1. LaurenTummel says:

    Yes, it is scary but a reality. As a financial advisor, I told my clients this…there are lotsbof options for college…scholarships, loans, your daughter can work, you may have higher income then and just pay as you go…however none of those options exist for your retirement, if you think college is scary crunch the numbers for retirement…retirement should be everyone’s #1 priority, if you are already meeting retirement t goals, then you can start saving for college, and if you recrunch the numbers for just tuition then it is not as scary of a goal, but the longer you wait the scarier it gets…if you need help figuring out an investment plan or how to look at your budget to find some areas to cut so you can start saving, try finding a CFP in your area! But since there are so many options for your daughter dont stress too much over the college planning… But This is also another reason I buy my sons clothes and toys consignment, he def won’t remember if he’s wearing the newest baby trends but def will remember his college years!

  2. Melanie says:

    I have been think about the same thing! But I like what Lauren said about options, I will be sure to let my daughter know that these are options she really needs to work towards if she wants to go to college and have the time of her life!! Not many people in my family have gone to college, in fact my sister and I are the only ones. So growing up I always thought of college as just more boring ol school, not exciting, but it is so much more and I am excited to show my daughter what all college has to offer, then she can make her choice. Also, Lauren, my husbands job has a great retirement plan, do we still need to be saving now?

  3. Amanda says:

    Did you know if you or your spouse work at a college (typically in any full-time position), your child can get free tuition? You typically have to work there a few years prior to your child’s enrollment, but it’s a huge perk. If your child doesn’t want to go to the school where you work, they have tuition exchange programs. They’d have to pay room and board, but it’s still a big savings.

  4. says:

    you have concluded and summarized the ideas. I never touch this kind of things ..~~so before I am a green hand~~ now i opened mental horizon~~~

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