100k to spend on DC's education but how?

(146 Posts)
mustbeabetterwife Sat 26-Oct-13 12:50:23

First time post here, but a very long time lurker on the education board.

DH and I have some inheritance money (£100k) to spend specifically on our DC's education. The money has been given to us on the promise that it is only to be spent on their schooling.

DS1 is 3 and DS2 is 1 but I want to start thinking now about where and how the money will be allocated.

Bit of background:

DH earns a decent salary. He doesn't want me to be too specific, but let's say more than 60k and less than 100k.
I am a SAHM. Hope to return to work when boys are at school. Will earn no more than 30k.
We have 2bed house in South East and have no plans (or funds) to move.

DH was educated privately and I state. Both went to RG universities.

DH would like the boys to be privately educated but I'm less keen. However, with a reasonably hefty mortgage, there is absolutely no chance of us being able to afford the fees.

So, how do we spend the inheritance money as specified?

Option 1 - Put both boys into prep and then transfer to state (top up with tutoring).

Option 2 - I'm not really sure on this one. Secondary school fees are 15k a year so that would only fund one son through secondary school, there are no grammar schools where we live.

Option 3 - Both boys into state primary and secondary and private for sixth form. Fees 15kpa for private sixth form, so in total for both boys to go private for sixth form - 60k. Split the remaining 40k to fund their first year of university.

Option 4 - Stick money into a high interest account (if there is such one atm!) and then 50k for each boy to see them through university. No idea though how much the fees will be though in 15 years time!

I hope this post doesn't come across as boastful, it is not my intention in the slightest for it to do so. I know we are very lucky to have this money and just want it to be spent as it is so wished.

Thank you in advance.

mysteryfairy Sat 26-Oct-13 12:58:10

I don't think the context of the state schooling available to you is required to make a call.

I live rurally in the North. My children started at the local village school and moved to independent at 7+. I was totally happy with the infant provision locally and the fact that they did not need to travel and made local friends. So I guess I wouldn't prioritise prep.

However I will be paying my children's university fees as I would be so unhappy for them to enter adult life with massive debt. So I suppose if that was the only thing I could afford to do I might prioritise that.

mustbeabetterwife Sat 26-Oct-13 13:02:36

Thank you for your response mysteryfairy. However, can you please expand on your first sentence:

"I don't think the context of the state schooling available to you is required to make a call."

I'm not sure what you mean by this?

Yes, I am very aware of us spending the money before they hit university and for them to be saddled with debt for the rest of their lives. However saying that, I worked two jobs at university and lived very frugally, still did have some debts though. It's just so difficult to predict what the situation will be like in 16 years time!

bebopanddoowop Sat 26-Oct-13 13:04:10

I would say option 4 personally, but perhaps keep some aside for private tutoring at secondary if needed

DwellsUndertheFucker Sat 26-Oct-13 13:09:45

My kids are bright and doing brilliantly at local comp - DD finished with 4A*s, 7 As and a B. DS1 currently top of class for history, math, english....so if you have bright children who have plenty of support from the loving adults in their lives, I would say the money is best spent on university education.

The idea of my DD have 60k debt when she leaves college is just not on.

However, if one of them decides to go into a highly sought after degree - medicine for example, it may be worth while funding their private 6th form.

ALso, if one decides not to go to university, what would be the situation with the inheritance....would the child be permitted to fund eg lodgings in a place where they could be an apprentice or similar?

ChippingInNeedsANYFUCKER Sat 26-Oct-13 13:10:20

I would put the money in the highest relatively risk free investment I could find.

They are far too young to know what they are going to need yet.

There isn't enough to put them both through Private School from reception to leaving.

Unless your local schools are dire, you'd be better to save the money for Uni (or whatever) for them both.

Private school is fine if you are able to keep up with all the 'additional' expenses, but your kids will feel left out if you can't.

eightandthreequarters Sat 26-Oct-13 13:14:12

You could be quite creative about this. State education through sixth form, and perhaps £80k set against university costs, and use the other £20k for tutoring, music classes, some sort of amazing science/computing/drama/art camps (whatever their interests turn out to be), travel to study a certain culture (the Incas?) or language. You'd have a fund to let them follow their interests and deepen their knowledge in fun and adventurous ways.

mustbeabetterwife Sat 26-Oct-13 13:14:28

DwellsUndertheFucker - I can't imagine them not going to university. I would encourage them both to do so, however, if one didn't want to, I suppose his money would be put aside to fund his professional development in some way. I haven't really thought about that tbh...

mustbeabetterwife Sat 26-Oct-13 13:16:31

yes, great thoughts eight, lots to be learnt 'outside the classroom' - thank you all for your insight so far.

ancientbuchanan Sat 26-Oct-13 13:16:36

I would save for university but put just a bit aside for eg tuition if one of them is struggling or if there us s specific course or school trip that would make a difference.

If one of them ends up with either a talent or a learning need that needs extra support, then I might change my mind at that point. But not now.

Imv, no point spending loads on primary especially as as sahm who can support lots at home.

havingastress Sat 26-Oct-13 13:16:41

If you're thinking of going private, the most important time for private is 11-16. They really don't need it imo at primary and by Sixth Form if they have been to private 11-16, they will do well regardless.

You surely have more than one secondary school (private) near you? £15k a year is £5k a term! Most are normally £3k-£4k. Anyway, sorry if this sounds rude, but if your husband earns £60+ and you're earning £30k, you can easily afford to top up the inheritance money if needed. Or you spend all of your salary on fees, and live off your husbands money for 5 yrs? Totally doable.

LittleSiouxieSue Sat 26-Oct-13 13:19:03

I think all the financial advice (Martin Lewis) is not to pay university fees up front . Children may never pay much of it back so you have spent money you could have used for a house deposit. Unless you can do both of course.
Mustbe... I do think you have a bit of a problem in that for two children you are short of funds for a long stint of private education. Fees also go up more than inflation too so you may find that by saving the money you are in a worse position than right now. That said, it depends what you value. If a prep school is sending nearly all it's children to independent schools and none locally, you would probably not want to spend the money this way and you will only get a few years for each of them. Which years to choose? You don't have enough money for 5-7 years of secondary education either! The costs are bigger here than just fees too. Lots of hidden costs. I might look at 6th form however but by that time they may not want to move school or being doing really well where they are. Would it be possible to spend the money on education in the wider sense, eg travel? Education is much wider than school alone. Also, university costs are higher than the loans so you could go for a partial payment (bearing in mind the financial advice above!) Your fund may have grown a bit by then. In some ways this is a wonderful gift, but it falls short of giving you freedom to choose all the way through. If you like your local primary, at least go with that. It is possible to move from state to independent at 11 but you would have to commit to 7 years and you don't have enough for both children. I don't see how you could pay for one and not the other.

mustbeabetterwife Sat 26-Oct-13 13:24:26

LittleSiouxieSue - Exactly, what one gets, the other will also get. It would be grossly unfair to prioritise one brother over the other, regardless of their academic ability - just too young to know though atm!

The money is for both boys to be shared EQUALLY and that must be honoured.

notwoo Sat 26-Oct-13 13:30:58

I'd put most of it in a high interest account with a view to putting them in private sixth form but put some aside for educational 'extras' in the mean time-trips, tutoring, music lessons etc.

SoonToBeSix Sat 26-Oct-13 13:44:31

You can get private schools for 12 k a year so that would pay for 4 years of secondary. With your salary you could easily pay for one more year on a combined income of 90k.

anotherboringnickname Sat 26-Oct-13 14:41:55

Or you spend all of your salary on fees, and live off your husbands money for 5 yrs? Totally doable.

I totally agree. Right now you're doing ok with only your DH's salary and that's also covering the mortgage, so you can top up education from your salary when it comes. IMO prep would be a waste of your money. Find a nice enough primary and give them a little help to get into an independent secondary - that's when all the extracurricular etc available become important. So that's what I would do, topping up secondary costs from your salary. You'll be earning a joint salary of 100K - lots of people have kids in private schools with that salary. You don't get financial help from a school if you earn above 60K, so that should give you an idea. If your DC grow up to be talented in a specific area, a scholarship can always be a helpful discount. It's nice you got that inheritance for their education.

bodycolder Sat 26-Oct-13 14:45:52

State schools and uni fund

Abra1d Sat 26-Oct-13 14:46:02

Both in private school from year 9, with perhaps tutoring from year 6 so they are able to integrate into private school. If you invest wisely now you should just be able to manage that as they are so young.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 26-Oct-13 14:47:51

Hello OP.

We had similar although ds1 and 2 had already completed education so there money was to help fund uni, college etc.
We are in a worse position than you financially and decided that education wasn't just about schooling.
My parents supported my extra curricular interests when I was young so we decided to do this for dd who is 9. It has worked out well so far as she is excelling in music and the money is being spent on music lessons, transport, beautiful costumes and all the things we couldn't have provided for her.
Maybe look at lessons in sport, music, art, drama, dance etc.

mustbeabetterwife Sat 26-Oct-13 14:48:26

Thank you - anotherboringnickname. we feel very fortunate to have the money and part of that is making sure it is spent in exactly the way it was intended.

I hope I manage to get a job OK if putting them into independent secondary is to be a route we take! Hopefully, it should be fine, I've been doing some voluntary bits to keep CV ticking over and if not, well, I'll happily clean loos and stack shelves to make up the 30k!

mustbeabetterwife Sat 26-Oct-13 14:50:34

However, just to add not sure about my personal thoughts and beliefs about private education, but that really is a whole other conversation and also don't want to ignite another 'which is better private or state' thread!

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 15:09:47

State school
Every possible school trip
Any and every extra curricular activity they fancy
Gap Year
University fund (but not to pay the fees up front)

daphnedill Sat 26-Oct-13 16:03:38

Agree with Talkinpeace. Would add keeping some for private tuition as and when you feel it's needed. You can even compensate for a not very good primary school by taking an interest in their development at home, as long as they're not being bullied and/or are desperately unhappy.

If it's at all possible, I would also try not to work full-time while they are young. You'll then have the time and energy to help them while they're still at primary school age and they'll learn much from you in the long run - cooking, gardening, helping, sharing, caring... (I speak from experience as somebody who had no choice but to work full-time while my DCs were young - if there is one thing I wish I could have done differently in my life, it would have been to spend more time with my DCs.)

Sthingmustbescaringthemaway Sat 26-Oct-13 16:16:39

It's a lovely problem to have OP - and very interesting to think about. Was the inheritance always in the picture? If not, what was your plan for your Dss previously? Does the money necessarily change things completely?

School fees are rising at an horrendous rate, as I'm sure you're aware. By the time your Dss are say 7 or 8 the best prep schools money can buy would cost a quarter of your money - just for one year; just for one boy. (And some people might argue that only the best schools are worth paying for.)

You did say that you had no plans to move. But with two growing boys might that not be a question that arises anyway? Are you certain that moving - to the doorstep of the best state school anywhere - would be wholly outside the remit of your inheritance?

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 16:19:54

PS my answer is based upon a couple of friends who have family trust funds linked to education

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