We never know where life will take us, even if we plan till the very last minute.
For instance, I started my debt reduction plan in August of 2008 because I realized I had fallen into a huge money hole. I was reading PF blogs like there was no tomorrow and realized that if all these other people could take control of their finances, well SO COULD I!
A year and a half later, I’ve turned my life 180.
And a year later, as I talked to my dad on the phone in August and he told me that he hadn’t closed a deal in 8 months (at the time, longer now) and was getting by with a gig at Costco giving out samples, I realized I had another goal: My Sister.
See, my sister is 16, and a junior in high school. She’s a smart kid, but because her mother (my ex-stepmother) has never worked a full day’s work in her life (due in part to physical injury and in part to mental inability) and my dad being unable to even pay rent on an apartment – she figures that she won’t be able to go to college.
She has mentioned going to a community college for the first few years and then transferring to a 4-year school. I know this works for some people, but I also know that it doesn’t work well for science majors and it doesn’t work for most younger students. My sister LOVES Chemistry (perhaps that is genetic?) and to top if all off she is terribly good at it (even without my help!)
So I really, really, really want my sister to go to a decent 4 year school. I mean, she can’t afford the best, but seeing as her mom lives in California and my dad in Arizona, she has quite a few decent options for herself with in state tuition.
And this is one of the reasons why I really want to get out of debt so quickly. I want to be able to use that extra money that I pay to my credit card every month to help my sister go to college. I have been doing some math in the background (nothing I’ve put up on here) and I think I could be able to give her $3-5,000/semester. That should greatly help the tuition at any of the in-state schools in California or Arizona.
I haven’t thought of the conditions I would put on the money. If it would be a gift or an interest free loan. Or if it would be stipulated with grades or behavior. I may only ask that she just doesn’t open a credit card of the money goes away. This will obviously require more thought and will be contingent on me still being able to save aggressively towards my E-fund to get it to $10k and save $5k/year towards an IRA (I already get 10% of my income put into a 403(b) retirement plan automatically by my employer as one of my benefits).
And when I started out the money journey I didn’t think that I would end up paying for my sister to go to college, and I won’t be able to afford to pay for all of it, but I can afford to help make the burden less for her. And I never would have been able to if it wasn’t for this blog and for you readers. So thank you for the help you’ve given me, and my sister!