Author Topic: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.  (Read 8672 times)

MM_MG

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Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« on: June 30, 2018, 03:44:24 PM »
Finally decided to cut the private school expense.  That'll give us an extra $25K annually to put to work. 

mspym

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 04:01:04 PM »
Finally decided to cut the private school expense.  That'll give us an extra $25K annually to put to work.

That is great. Well done on taking the leap!

SwordGuy

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 05:22:46 PM »
Congrats!

That's a darn big chunk of change to free up!   

flower_girl

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 02:12:23 AM »
Nice work!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 03:08:58 PM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

marty998

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 05:50:30 AM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

It's essentially a class thing... so many assumptions made about socio-economic status, ability, discipline, opportunity, networking etc etc. Funny thing is it becomes a self fulfilling feedback-loop. If enough parents make the leap then the stratification of the school systems gets entrenched.

Quite a stark phenomenon here. State selective and/or Private > Independent or Catholic > the rest go public.

I consider myself a rational person, but I will be paying extra for my future children not to go to a public school.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2018, 05:57:58 AM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

I have a family member who goes to private school because of the merciless bullying he was receiving in the public schools. His siblings still attend public school.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2018, 10:50:38 AM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

There are countless reasons to live somewhere that have nothing to do with the quality of the public schools in that area.  Job requirements, proximity to family, caring for an elder parent, real estate conditions, quality of life, etc.

Or maybe you live somewhere with decent schools that become lousy schools by the time your kids are ready to attend, and various economic or personal factors make it difficult to move to a different school district.

Or maybe you live in a city and send your kids to a great school.  But then with the stroke of a pen, the school board redrew the school lines and now your kids have an hour long bus ride to a crappy school on the other side of town.

Or maybe you strongly value a particular method of education which works well for your kid, and that method is not generally used at public schools.

Or maybe your kid was floundering, not challenged, or bullied in your local public school, and then flourished when you tried the private school out of desperation.

Personally, due to a combination of some of the above factors, I'm happy to pay for private school for our kids.  I won't speak for anyone else, but in our case it has nothing to do with status whatsoever.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 01:13:05 PM »
Regardless of whether private school is a good choice for some and not for others, I wanted to congratulate OP on cutting out a huge expense that OP deemed not necessary.  I know for us, private school is our single biggest budget item by a hefty margin (not counting retirement contributions or other optional investments).  We are definitely looking forward to the huge improvement in cash flow once our kids graduate out of private school.

ysette9

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 09:51:42 PM »
Congrats to OP! I hope it works out well for your kid(s).

As a kid I had a miserable experience in private school and eventually flourished in public school. That, as well as the $ aspect, make me want to send me kids to public. We also have a big goal of having them in a immersion language program (one of two non-English languages we speak with the kiddos). Thankfully a local public offers one of the two, so that is the plan. It would really bum me out to pay for private, but the language education would be enough to convince me to fork over the dough if it came to that.

Fingers crossed that it does not.

mspym

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2018, 02:02:44 AM »
Regardless of whether private school is a good choice for some and not for others, I wanted to congratulate OP on cutting out a huge expense that OP deemed not necessary.  I know for us, private school is our single biggest budget item by a hefty margin (not counting retirement contributions or other optional investments).  We are definitely looking forward to the huge improvement in cash flow once our kids graduate out of private school.

Our boys went to a private primary school because Montessori isn't available in public schools here, but are absolutely blooming in their public high school and the difference to our cash flow/ability to invest is *amazing*. It is so good to be out from that expense.

AM43

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2018, 10:37:23 AM »
My kids are in public schools and I would never consider paying for private schools.
We live in nice neighborhood with nice houses and very high taxes, but schools are only average and yet my older one is a high honers student, doing very well, taking advance classes etc.
One thing we do is stay on top of their home work, class assignments, spend extra time teaching, showing, explaining etc.
What I am trying to say is that public schools are just fine and this notion that private schools do better jobs educating is overblown idea.
Shelling out 25K on top of property taxes that pay for child schooling is just mind blowing to me.
Great job OP recognizing that and doing something about it.

rctid lady

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2018, 10:51:03 AM »
Good for you! Besides being Mustachian, when parents with resources like you attend and support public schools, it helps the outcomes for ALL of our kids.

SavinMaven

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2018, 06:13:47 AM »
Quote
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there.

Assuming you're actually curious, and willing to listen to the answer (from just one person, surely reasons vary)...

Our backyard literally touches the great public elementary school to which our kids are districted. We wanted to live in an area with great schools because a) great schools are usually tied to other elements of "a great life" (cultural opportunities, large lots, low crime, etc.) and b) it helps our investment in our house retain value over time, and be desirable to others, should we choose to sell.

Meanwhile, our religion is the #1 priority in our lives. Your mileage may vary; our view is that our faith is an 'operating system' that is a way (not saying it's the only way) to help our kids grow up to be compassionate people who feel part of something bigger and know they have a crucial purpose in being on this earth, no matter what life throws at them.

Before they can go participate respectfully in a pluralistic society, we believe they first need a deep grounding in who they are and in who we are. By attending a religious school - that also happens to top even our excellent local public school academically - we feel we can give them both: strong brains, and a strong soul. Therefore, we gladly pay private school tuition, to know both are being strengthened each day.

Obviously, spiritual support and education isn't available in our local public school, and I agree it should not be. So, we pay to have what we think is the best of both worlds.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 09:43:46 PM »
Big and a great move. All the best wishes !!

FireHiker

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2018, 11:39:36 AM »
Congrats OP!

Quote
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there.

Assuming you're actually curious, and willing to listen to the answer (from just one person, surely reasons vary)...

Our backyard literally touches the great public elementary school to which our kids are districted. We wanted to live in an area with great schools because a) great schools are usually tied to other elements of "a great life" (cultural opportunities, large lots, low crime, etc.) and b) it helps our investment in our house retain value over time, and be desirable to others, should we choose to sell.

Meanwhile, our religion is the #1 priority in our lives. Your mileage may vary; our view is that our faith is an 'operating system' that is a way (not saying it's the only way) to help our kids grow up to be compassionate people who feel part of something bigger and know they have a crucial purpose in being on this earth, no matter what life throws at them.

Before they can go participate respectfully in a pluralistic society, we believe they first need a deep grounding in who they are and in who we are. By attending a religious school - that also happens to top even our excellent local public school academically - we feel we can give them both: strong brains, and a strong soul. Therefore, we gladly pay private school tuition, to know both are being strengthened each day.

Obviously, spiritual support and education isn't available in our local public school, and I agree it should not be. So, we pay to have what we think is the best of both worlds.

Thanks for explaining this. We live in a community with the very top schools in the area (high school in approx the top 250 nationwide), and our neighbor across the street has 4 kids that they send to private religious school. It's a relatively "inexpensive" private school in the area at approx. 10k-11k per kid per year, but with 4 kids, that's $$$. I couldn't fathom paying what we do to live here and then not taking advantage of the phenomenal schools. Although I still wouldn't do it myself, I appreciate you sharing your "why" with us. In defense of my neighbor, the mom has taken a preschool teaching job at the private school which reduces the tuition 15%, and if she gets hired on full-time (which is their plan) then tuition will be free. I hope it works out for them; they recently moved here and seem like nice people.

memorytoast

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2018, 06:12:43 PM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

There are countless reasons to live somewhere that have nothing to do with the quality of the public schools in that area.  Job requirements, proximity to family, caring for an elder parent, real estate conditions, quality of life, etc.

Or maybe you live somewhere with decent schools that become lousy schools by the time your kids are ready to attend, and various economic or personal factors make it difficult to move to a different school district.

Or maybe you live in a city and send your kids to a great school.  But then with the stroke of a pen, the school board redrew the school lines and now your kids have an hour long bus ride to a crappy school on the other side of town.

Or maybe you strongly value a particular method of education which works well for your kid, and that method is not generally used at public schools.

Or maybe your kid was floundering, not challenged, or bullied in your local public school, and then flourished when you tried the private school out of desperation.

Personally, due to a combination of some of the above factors, I'm happy to pay for private school for our kids.  I won't speak for anyone else, but in our case it has nothing to do with status whatsoever.

@Bird In Hand  Thanks for pointing this out! I went to private school nursey-12th and teach in one too, but it was not ever a class thing - it was/is religious. My parents were upper middle class, and our family was one of the best off ones in the school; my tuition helped cover other students' whose parents couldn't afford private school, but sincerely held the same religious beliefs. Personally, I'd be quite happy to pay for the public school I wasn't sending my kids too, (we don't own a house currently so no property taxes), because I don't think religious school is for everyone, and want my neighbors' kids to be well educated too! 

simplyjay

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2018, 05:52:41 PM »
what are the other 2 expenses? this is a huge gain for you. good stuff!

foobaz

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2018, 09:35:05 PM »
Nice. It must have taken a lot of consideration to make that decision.

MillyMoney

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2018, 08:31:56 AM »
We lived in a low income school district with a ton of bullies and sub-par teachers.  Our child was miserable so I forked over the money to send her to Catholic school (we aren't even Christian) as it was the closest school at 1 hour away.  Worth it.  She thrived and those uniforms were wonderful... no arguing about what to wear in the morning.  Some say, "then move into another district" but all of our rental properties were close to where we lived in the opposite direction of the school and I was not about to move closer to the school and then drive all over creation to maintain our rentals.  It was expensive and we were on a very tight budget to be able to do it but I would do it again. 

RWD

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2018, 09:41:20 AM »
Finally decided to cut the private school expense.  That'll give us an extra $25K annually to put to work.

Holy crap, that's more than our top four expenses combined! (excluding income taxes)

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2018, 12:55:24 PM »
While I send my kid to public school we did move so that he would be in a better school district. I guess win, win since we also got a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood. If not for him we probably would've been happy where we were. Cheaper not to have kids, but there are some decisions in life that should not be left to money.

AMandM

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2018, 01:47:08 PM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there.

Outside the US, the connection between local property taxes and public school funding is not so close.

I attended private school for grade 1, because the private school would take me even though my birthday was 11 days after the public-school cutoff. My parents did not want me to wait a whole year to start school when I already could read (although not in the language of instruction). Once I had finished grade 1 the public school had to let me into grade 2 the next year.

TomTX

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2018, 07:52:23 AM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there.

Outside the US, the connection between local property taxes and public school funding is not so close.

I attended private school for grade 1, because the private school would take me even though my birthday was 11 days after the public-school cutoff. My parents did not want me to wait a whole year to start school when I already could read (although not in the language of instruction). Once I had finished grade 1 the public school had to let me into grade 2 the next year.

Ours has a birthday not far before the cutoff, so we have gone with public school for kindergarten - working great now, but later on I know MiniTX won't be challenged academically if he stays on track. Looking back, neither of us was really challenged even by the gifted program - and I learned later that I was in a top school district for the nation.

Texas makes it very difficult* to skip grades within the program, so we're considering a workaround. Example: "Withdrawing" MiniTX at the end of 2nd grade, high speed homeschooling through 3rd grade over the summer, then re-enrolling as a 4th grade "transfer student" in the fall. Another option may be the Texas Virtual schools - if we can find one with an appropriate summer program.

*So, if you go to school for (say) 3rd grade - you typically need to get at least 70% in 3 of 4 categories. If you want to skip 3rd grade, you need to hit 90% in 4 out of 4 categories.

BicycleB

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2018, 08:02:43 AM »
@MM_MG, congrats!

Any thoughts you'd like to share on how you made your decision?

Kl285528

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2018, 08:11:56 AM »
Congrats - nice savings to the budget. Meanwhile, we're looking to make the opposite move. Class sizes of 37 kids in 8th grade math and english are not working so great for our son, so we are exploring all of the private schools in our area. And we live in a district where elementary, middle and high school are walking distance from our house, and the high school is consistently ranked as one of the best in the state. Elementary was great for our son, middle school has been a disaster. So, despite the cost, and despite the fact that my wife and I went to public school ( and went on to earn graduate degrees), we are looking at making a change. I guess it is all local. We are also, semi-seriously, considering home schooling our son, and making his school work partially consist of running around outside and being the best smart and energetic and personable boy that he can be.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2018, 11:52:50 AM »
DD went to a private French HS (secular but founded by a teaching order, as so many private French HSs are in Quebec).  She had been in French immersion in public elementary school, but she would have lost most of it in HS.  The local French HS was poor.  She graduated fluently bilingual, but also had a more challenging curriculum than she would have had at the local English HS.

If our local English HS had had better French instruction she would have been enrolled there.

Latestarter73

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2018, 03:09:19 PM »
I really hope this works out great for the OP.

I am currently agonising over a similar decision. DD10 is in a private prep school, taking private school exams next term but we have also looked at the local high school, which despite being very large (2,000+ pupils) looks good and is the best performing state school in Cheshire now. It's an easy 20 minute walk from home too.

DD6 is at the prep too and while bright, enthusiastic and lovely, I struggle to see her setting the academic world alight. DD10 is reasonably bright but a butterfly - she doesn't easily buckle down to dedicated hard work, so private may be wasted on her (maybe worse: too pressured).

I know that studies show that twins who end up separated and go down different life paths tend to achieve similar outcomes and that once you adjust for parental influence there is much less of a benefit to private than people think, but still I am finding it hard to commit to the state high school.

I think it's fear - fear that if you aren't giving everything you can for your kids you're potentially letting them down. For context, I went to state primary then one of the best private schools and on to Oxford University, so I am biased in favour of private education. But the sad thing is I fear the c100,000 on the prep school has been mostly wasted. Great manners and self-confidence, but the actual teaching has not impressed me.

So I'm scared of wasting money and I'm scared of letting my daughters down. Currently my head says that having 200,000 more in 8 years time will help set them up for life better than what small advantage they might get at private school, but I know my heart says go private.

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2018, 09:35:47 PM »
Wow!  I had no idea this would be such a popular thread.  Only 27 replies, but over 8100 views!

There are some great comments/questions above.  I will try to come back either later tonight or this weekend and respond to as many as I can.

Here is a preview...the decision has been fantastic for us!  But I think it is a great topic for discussion with no "one size fits all" answer.

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2018, 10:10:01 PM »
Finally decided to cut the private school expense.  That'll give us an extra $25K annually to put to work.

That is great. Well done on taking the leap!
Congrats!

That's a darn big chunk of change to free up!
Nice work!

Thank you!  Yes, it definitely is not an insignificant amount of money.

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2018, 10:13:48 PM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

Conversely we live in a state with one of the worst school systems in the country according to rankings. But I myself am a product of this horrible school system and have done quite well.  Of course at the time I had no idea where it ranked and personally do not put much value on those types of rankings.  So there you go.

I agree that a lot of people are concerned with status.  This is true for many things beyond schools.  And I agree that parental involvement is essential. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2018, 10:19:00 PM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

It's essentially a class thing... so many assumptions made about socio-economic status, ability, discipline, opportunity, networking etc etc. Funny thing is it becomes a self fulfilling feedback-loop. If enough parents make the leap then the stratification of the school systems gets entrenched.

Quite a stark phenomenon here. State selective and/or Private > Independent or Catholic > the rest go public.

I consider myself a rational person, but I will be paying extra for my future children not to go to a public school.

Ours was more of a convenience thing.  At the time we started at the school (pre-school) it was close to our house and not any more expensive than other pre-schools.  I'll probable get into this more later, but the school was more advanced academically than public school.  Which made it difficult to switch back, especially as time went on.   The class thing is true, though we saw that as more of a detriment. 

Where you send you kids to school is such a personal choice.  We have friends that a die hard public school believers and other that do not blink and eye dropping $50K a year to attend the "best" school around.

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2018, 10:20:20 PM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

I have a family member who goes to private school because of the merciless bullying he was receiving in the public schools. His siblings still attend public school.

We found the opposite to be true.  More behavioral issues at private school then the public one.  Of course situations will vary. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2018, 10:21:45 PM »
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there. We live in one of the best school systems in the state and it blows my mind after the taxes people pay to live in this school district they still send them to a private school. In more cases then not I think its more a status thing than anything. And even in an average school if your not active in your kids life and the school/community then its not going to matter much anyhow for most kids.

There are countless reasons to live somewhere that have nothing to do with the quality of the public schools in that area.  Job requirements, proximity to family, caring for an elder parent, real estate conditions, quality of life, etc.

Or maybe you live somewhere with decent schools that become lousy schools by the time your kids are ready to attend, and various economic or personal factors make it difficult to move to a different school district.

Or maybe you live in a city and send your kids to a great school.  But then with the stroke of a pen, the school board redrew the school lines and now your kids have an hour long bus ride to a crappy school on the other side of town.

Or maybe you strongly value a particular method of education which works well for your kid, and that method is not generally used at public schools.

Or maybe your kid was floundering, not challenged, or bullied in your local public school, and then flourished when you tried the private school out of desperation.

Personally, due to a combination of some of the above factors, I'm happy to pay for private school for our kids.  I won't speak for anyone else, but in our case it has nothing to do with status whatsoever.

Agreed.  Everyone's experience is different.  We all want the best for our kids and try to provide that.

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2018, 10:29:30 PM »
Regardless of whether private school is a good choice for some and not for others, I wanted to congratulate OP on cutting out a huge expense that OP deemed not necessary.  I know for us, private school is our single biggest budget item by a hefty margin (not counting retirement contributions or other optional investments).  We are definitely looking forward to the huge improvement in cash flow once our kids graduate out of private school.

Thanks!  We might go back to private when the kids get to high school, but for now it was the right decision.  I did not think about retirement contributions or investments (or taxes) as they are all automatic.  So maybe top 5 expenses? 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2018, 10:33:32 PM »
Congrats to OP! I hope it works out well for your kid(s).

As a kid I had a miserable experience in private school and eventually flourished in public school. That, as well as the $ aspect, make me want to send me kids to public. We also have a big goal of having them in a immersion language program (one of two non-English languages we speak with the kiddos). Thankfully a local public offers one of the two, so that is the plan. It would really bum me out to pay for private, but the language education would be enough to convince me to fork over the dough if it came to that.

Fingers crossed that it does not.

Thanks!  So far so good. 

It is all such a personal decision, and there are many factors that go into deciding what to do.  One of our kids had an "okay" experience last year, after many good years and it just made us stop and think whether paying the money for private school for just and "okay" experience was worth it.  We thought we could get  "okay" for free.  Turns out we can get fantastic for free too.   

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2018, 10:37:24 PM »
Regardless of whether private school is a good choice for some and not for others, I wanted to congratulate OP on cutting out a huge expense that OP deemed not necessary.  I know for us, private school is our single biggest budget item by a hefty margin (not counting retirement contributions or other optional investments).  We are definitely looking forward to the huge improvement in cash flow once our kids graduate out of private school.

Our boys went to a private primary school because Montessori isn't available in public schools here, but are absolutely blooming in their public high school and the difference to our cash flow/ability to invest is *amazing*. It is so good to be out from that expense.

That's great!  We have several friends with kids in Montessori.  Glad to hear they are doing well.   The lack of expense is definitely nice.  But we just dump it into our investments and haven't really noticed a difference if that makes sense.

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2018, 10:43:49 PM »
My kids are in public schools and I would never consider paying for private schools.
We live in nice neighborhood with nice houses and very high taxes, but schools are only average and yet my older one is a high honers student, doing very well, taking advance classes etc.
One thing we do is stay on top of their home work, class assignments, spend extra time teaching, showing, explaining etc.
What I am trying to say is that public schools are just fine and this notion that private schools do better jobs educating is overblown idea.
Shelling out 25K on top of property taxes that pay for child schooling is just mind blowing to me.
Great job OP recognizing that and doing something about it.

I agree with the notion the public schools are just fine, but I am bias being product of one.  ;)   I do believe that where they go to school has much less of an impact than how involved the parents are.  We do not push our kids to excess but try to kindly guide them along the way.   

For us it really wasn't about the money, but more of the value we thought we were getting for the money we were spending. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2018, 10:48:21 PM »
Good for you! Besides being Mustachian, when parents with resources like you attend and support public schools, it helps the outcomes for ALL of our kids.

Thanks.  This has been one of the best benefits we did not contemplate while making our decision.  When the school asked for donations of say $25 per classroom, we were happy to be able to give 10+ times that amount and fund multiple projects for multiple classes for the year.  We spent a fraction of what we spent on private school tuition and made a much more significant impact to the school and the students. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2018, 10:50:36 PM »
Quote
I never understood the paying for private school thing. If you pay taxes in a school system (and not personalty referring to op) but its not good enough for your kids then why live there.

Assuming you're actually curious, and willing to listen to the answer (from just one person, surely reasons vary)...

Our backyard literally touches the great public elementary school to which our kids are districted. We wanted to live in an area with great schools because a) great schools are usually tied to other elements of "a great life" (cultural opportunities, large lots, low crime, etc.) and b) it helps our investment in our house retain value over time, and be desirable to others, should we choose to sell.

Meanwhile, our religion is the #1 priority in our lives. Your mileage may vary; our view is that our faith is an 'operating system' that is a way (not saying it's the only way) to help our kids grow up to be compassionate people who feel part of something bigger and know they have a crucial purpose in being on this earth, no matter what life throws at them.

Before they can go participate respectfully in a pluralistic society, we believe they first need a deep grounding in who they are and in who we are. By attending a religious school - that also happens to top even our excellent local public school academically - we feel we can give them both: strong brains, and a strong soul. Therefore, we gladly pay private school tuition, to know both are being strengthened each day.

Obviously, spiritual support and education isn't available in our local public school, and I agree it should not be. So, we pay to have what we think is the best of both worlds.

As I said above, everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do.  The most important thing is being involved in your kids' lives.   

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2018, 10:51:59 PM »
Big and a great move. All the best wishes !!

Thank you!   It's been great so far. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2018, 10:56:26 PM »
what are the other 2 expenses? this is a huge gain for you. good stuff!

Thanks.  At the time I was thinking about mortgage payment and food.  As stated above I had not considered taxes and investments.  And yes, we live in a "clown house" and spend a ridiculous amount of money on food (almost all of which is cooked at home).  Regardless, it is not an insignificant amount of money that we have added to our savings pile.   

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2018, 11:07:02 PM »
Nice. It must have taken a lot of consideration to make that decision.

We spent a tremendous amount of time on the decision.  We almost did it a few years ago but decided against it.   We know one of our kids is off-the-chart smart, like 99th percentile smart, and the private school provided a good place to challenge that one.  The other one is just as smart but younger so we were not as concerned.  We are lucky in there was a local public school that focuses more on a STEAM (STEM with Arts) curriculum.  While the school may be behind in absolute levels it focuses more on in depth learning and teaches the material in different ways.  This provides the stimulation that our kids need, even if they already know how to get the answer.  Stated differently, while they may already have the answer to a particular question, they are learning new ways to think about the problem in a collaborative environment.   This to us is more valuable than any test score or "status" of a private education.   Hopefully that makes sense. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2018, 11:08:44 PM »
We lived in a low income school district with a ton of bullies and sub-par teachers.  Our child was miserable so I forked over the money to send her to Catholic school (we aren't even Christian) as it was the closest school at 1 hour away.  Worth it.  She thrived and those uniforms were wonderful... no arguing about what to wear in the morning.  Some say, "then move into another district" but all of our rental properties were close to where we lived in the opposite direction of the school and I was not about to move closer to the school and then drive all over creation to maintain our rentals.  It was expensive and we were on a very tight budget to be able to do it but I would do it again.

You just make the best decision you can given the circumstances you are in.  Agreed on the uniforms, they are the best.  Kids might not like them, but they are a parent savior. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2018, 11:22:00 PM »
@MM_MG, congrats!

Any thoughts you'd like to share on how you made your decision?

Thanks!  I shared some above.  But we are somewhat victims of circumstance given that we live in an area with poor public schools, started with a private school early on that was great, and could afford to send our kids there.  Time will tell if it is the best decision, but it feels like it at the moment.   While we really liked the private school for a number a reasons, it had a significant number of drawbacks too.  To be honest, the biggest one was the parents of the kids that could afford to send their kids there.  We are pretty low key people and often were blown away by the sense of entitlement many of the parents had.  This attitude obviously translated to many of the kids as well.  Coupled with the parade of $80K+ cars driven by trophy wives on their way to pilates, assuming the nanny was not doing the drop off/pick up, often became too much.  We simple did not think that environment was the best for our kids.  But fortunately we have an option of another public school that is probably out performing most in the area, and elected to try it out.  We also recognize that many do not option.

Sorry rambling thoughts, hopefully that answers your question. 

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #45 on: November 15, 2018, 11:30:22 PM »
Congrats - nice savings to the budget. Meanwhile, we're looking to make the opposite move. Class sizes of 37 kids in 8th grade math and english are not working so great for our son, so we are exploring all of the private schools in our area. And we live in a district where elementary, middle and high school are walking distance from our house, and the high school is consistently ranked as one of the best in the state. Elementary was great for our son, middle school has been a disaster. So, despite the cost, and despite the fact that my wife and I went to public school ( and went on to earn graduate degrees), we are looking at making a change. I guess it is all local. We are also, semi-seriously, considering home schooling our son, and making his school work partially consist of running around outside and being the best smart and energetic and personable boy that he can be.

It is such a hard and individual road to navigate.   We all want the best for our kids.  One of our biggest concerns was going from a class size of 8-12 to 30.  I've repeatedly asked my kids what they think about that and they absolutely love the bigger class.   They enjoy having a larger group of kids to be friends with.  Of course, all kids are different. But if you do not like the other 7 kids in your class it makes for a tougher environment.   

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2018, 11:41:29 PM »
I really hope this works out great for the OP.

I am currently agonising over a similar decision. DD10 is in a private prep school, taking private school exams next term but we have also looked at the local high school, which despite being very large (2,000+ pupils) looks good and is the best performing state school in Cheshire now. It's an easy 20 minute walk from home too.

DD6 is at the prep too and while bright, enthusiastic and lovely, I struggle to see her setting the academic world alight. DD10 is reasonably bright but a butterfly - she doesn't easily buckle down to dedicated hard work, so private may be wasted on her (maybe worse: too pressured).

I know that studies show that twins who end up separated and go down different life paths tend to achieve similar outcomes and that once you adjust for parental influence there is much less of a benefit to private than people think, but still I am finding it hard to commit to the state high school.

I think it's fear - fear that if you aren't giving everything you can for your kids you're potentially letting them down. For context, I went to state primary then one of the best private schools and on to Oxford University, so I am biased in favour of private education. But the sad thing is I fear the c100,000 on the prep school has been mostly wasted. Great manners and self-confidence, but the actual teaching has not impressed me.

So I'm scared of wasting money and I'm scared of letting my daughters down. Currently my head says that having 200,000 more in 8 years time will help set them up for life better than what small advantage they might get at private school, but I know my heart says go private.

Thank you!  So far so good.  I think you hit the nail on the head with the feeling of fear.  We all want the best for our kids and feel guilty if we are not providing what is considered the best opportunities for them. We too felt that the money we spent on private education had been somewhat wasted.  As I stated above we can get "okay" for free.  With no real single complaint of the school itself, we just simply decided that it was not worth the cost.  As a benefit, the money saved will just be added to the pile that will eventually help pay for their college education and whatever else they need in life.  I do believe that our kids and your kids are likely to end up how they are going to end up in spite of what you do between now and adulthood.  While my ego has a hard time with that, I think the evidence supports it.  You sound like bright, educated people and your kids will probably be so too regardless of where they attend high school and what homeroom teacher they have.   

MM_MG

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2018, 11:43:00 PM »
Think I hit them all.  If not, my apologies.  Happy to continue the discussion.  Tried to answer the questions/comments without being specific enough on the interwebs. 

Peter Parker

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Re: Eliminated one of our biggest three expenses.
« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2018, 09:42:48 AM »
Finally decided to cut the private school expense.  That'll give us an extra $25K annually to put to work.

We sent our kids to private school K-8 and then to public high school.  I am glad we sent them to private school because they really put an emphasis on reading and writing.  Additionally, they learned the discipline necessary to study and succeed in public high school...[Parent Brag]-->All three of our children got scholarship money for college and were accepted to top public colleges.

While correlation does not equal causation, I think building a good educational foundation in the early years helps tremendously during the high school years when things can go off the rails...My kids were focused, surrounded themselves with like-minded high schools students, and understood they were creating their own opportunities while in high school.  I think the private school foundation helped.