What every parent should know about the college planning years

As we settle into 2014, I have been reflecting how quickly time is passing and how my children are growing up.  I think of our family traditions and a new one we added to our year-end holiday traditions in recent years.  Our family set a new tradition of having both of our families meet us in Tahoe for the holidays.

This last year, what we did not plan for was that my son Joey would have basketball practice every day except for December 25th.  What that meant for our family, and our extended family, was that we had to get creative with our schedule.  My husband stayed back with Joey for the first part of the week, and then he and Joey joined us in Tahoe late on the 24th and then I headed back home with Joey early on the 26th.  We were fortunate to have one day with our immediate family together and then it was hit or miss on what extended family we were able to see based on the schedule.

Making the most of family time before the college years

As we reflected on our new tradition, we realized that with Joey’s basketball schedule, a week in Tahoe with our families is no longer realistic.  We also realized that figuring out ways to keep the immediate family together is important since Joey will be off to college in three and a half years.

Planning for the college years

I have talked about it before, but this definitely brings to mind the importance of planning for college and the earlier the better.  As a freshman, Joey is now part of the conversation and really starting to ask questions like does he want to stay in California or head to a different state.  With all of these questions what looms in the back of all parents minds is how will we be able to finance it?   Wells Fargo has a cool online page, going to college, that may help parents and students better understand their options.

I hope you find it as helpful to you as I have found it for my family. I would love to hear from you. Send me a note and let me know how your college planning is going.

Lisa Stevens

About Lisa Stevens

Mother of three…devoted wife…spiritually centered…community minded…Wells Fargo veteran…passionate about helping moms take care of themselves financially. Raised by a devoted mother who continues to provide unconditional love and support, Lisa has been following in her mother’s path for the last 14 years as she raises a son and two daughters with her husband and best friend, Rob. How she responds to challenges at home and at work is a daily reflection exercise. She strives to use unexpected character-building moments to embrace her shortcomings and commit to learning and growing. As a community banking executive, Lisa likes to think of life’s journey as a series of deposits – freely giving of yourself to others – and withdrawals – opening yourself to receiving gifts from others. She readily admits motherhood gave her an entirely new perspective here. Her personal experiences and 24-year career in financial services led her to write this blog with moms in mind. Money can evoke a range of emotions for moms, and Lisa strives here to help moms take control of their financial future.
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