Andrey Popov

Never too early to start saving for your kid's schooling

YOUR children's education will be one of your biggest costs, especially if you want to send them to a private school - and the sooner you start saving, the better.

Even public schools have costs associated with them, such as uniforms, textbooks, excursions and some tuition fees.

To start saving for your kids' secondary or tertiary education, start by estimating how much you will need. For example, sending two children to a high school that costs $10,000 each a year for six years (Year 7-12) would set you back $120,000.

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It's helpful to inflate the figure a little, taking into account fee rises over time. And keep in mind you will need to have the final figure saved by the end of their schooling, not all at the start.

You can find savings calculators on websites such as http://www.moneysmart.gov.au to help you figure out how much you should put aside each month, and then it's a matter of choosing which savings option suits you.

If you're already paying childcare costs now, for example, it's a good idea to keep paying that money into whatever savings option you choose so it can then be used to fund future education.

Options include savings accounts, term deposits, shares and managed funds, investment bonds and education funds.

Each has pros and cons in terms of fees, level of risk, tax implications and ready access to the money, so it's a good idea to speak to a financial advisor for guidance.

But beware of financial advisors too - find someone who is independent and who won't just recommend products preferred by their organisation because of commissions.



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