But Seriously...

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It's not all fun and games at the Kauffman house.

Our kids see the toys and gadgets their cousins get: PS3s, cellphones, you name it.  Our family thinks it's great that we have the tuition discount working for a university and it is.  But tuition prices go up.  They just did.  And student loans don't keep pace.

Plus we'd be able to do much better things for our kids now if we weren't paying on our loans.  Toys are great, but every year around birthday season, I end up purging my house of bags and bags of them to give away.  They break or the kids tire of them.

I'd like to think that in addition to giving my children a few hours of play, I can give them something lasting, a leg up.  A chance to break the cycle of debt.  A chance to be better off than the generation that preceded them.

Chris and I take a portion of each month's pay and us place it into UGMA accounts for the kids. Better than gadgetry and toys that give a year's pleasure at best, we're giving them choices and opportunities while teaching them the value of saving.

They can use their tuition discounts at the university where we work and use their UGMA accounts to for the rest, they could use it attend another institution (even an out-of-state one, unlike some of the limitations on a 529 plan), they could use it for grad school, they could cash it in on a down payment on a home or business loan, or roll it in to a retirement plan.

It's a new year (a fiscal one, at the university where we work).  It is a time for increases and resolutions.  Tuition rates will increase for students.  That will affect my friends with parents of college-aged children.  Pay rates will increase for staff.  That will affect my husband, myself, and our friends.

Every new year people resolve to commit their pay increases to some thing or another.  Instead of IPhones or HDTVs, my husband and I resolve to pay off a debt or increase an UGMA, because sooner than we think, the other increase, our kids' college tuition, will catch up to us, and we hope that we can catch up financially to it...

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