I believe that the early years are the best time to teach the principal: Anything that’s worth anything is going to require an extraordinary level of effort. There are lots of well-meaning parents who set their kids up for needless struggles in adulthood by not encouraging them to carry part of this burden. Sure, if you’re wealthy and can afford to help — great! But even if you happen to be financially able to pay for the whole college thing — think hard before you do. Kids who get the entire college experience given to them tend to be the same kids who make the worst grades, get into the most trouble, and appreciate it the least. Even if you can afford to pay the whole thing consider letting your young person partner in some of the expenses.    

The college years are a great time to begin learning that sometimes you have to do things you hate (i.e. hard physical labor) to achieve a future lifestyle that will be more comfortable. A college degree alone doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual is truly educated. A total education involves other things like character, gratitude, and an appreciation for hard work. 

Consider letting your kids help pay for their college experiences. Think of it as a college course in character building.  

Next time: What About College Loans?  

Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar  at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at  www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.

A complete financial compendium, 19 chapters
• What you can do today to get out of debt and kill the Debt Monster
• A,B,C's of handling your money God's way
• How to save, invest, and retire wisely
• How mutual funds work
• How to stop fighting over money
• What to teach your kids about money
• Learn how home & car buying, college financing and insurance work.
• How to develop a budget that works -- forever!
• Features simple charts, graphs, and easy-to-use forms.

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