When Ben was young he thought I spent too much time in my office and
not enough time hanging out with him so I set up a second desk in the office, complete with
a "blueberry" laptop so he could work on his projects in the same space.
He was a good office mate; his computer rarely crashed and he didn't
drink all the coffee without having the courtesy to brew fresh.
Saving up for college was a long process. We started it shortly after Ben was born. We were pretty optimistic about our ability to save until it became apparent, far into the process, that he had his mind set on going to school out of state. The next escalation was his discovery of a private college that felt just right to him.
With the help of our 529 account, my ongoing (and variable) cash flow and my partner's great management skills we were able to underwrite all four years. We celebrated last week as we wrote the very last check to his school.
When we were childless, oh so many years ago, a celebration would have included a pricey bottle of Champagne and an evening at one of our favorite (and extravagant) restaurants. After shipping off so much money over the last four years our actual celebration consisted of sharing a $10 bottle of Prosecco and two chocolate lava cakes from the freezer at the local Trader Joe's. It seems that paying for a good education is, by extension, a good education for at least one former spendthrift parent.
It's probably the same continuing education that led me home for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch today. As a bonus I had the opportunity to play with Studio Dog for a while before heading back to work.
We held back just enough cash to head up to New York for the commencement ceremony in May. It should be delightful.
My biggest current fear? The lure of graduate school....
My spouse still counsels me that the investment in Ben's education was money better spent than me investing in fast cars or medium format digital cameras. Who am I to argue?