Education Blog

The School District Shuffle

by G. Ruga, Paying For Private School, Tips and tricks for sending your child to private school

Housing is one of the largest expenses a family takes on. And reducing that expense is a potential source of funding for your children’s education.

We purchased our home knowing that we were sending our child to private school. And this meant avoiding housing in the best school districts and saving a lot of money.

The numbers

In California, for example, housing in the best school districts cost 50% more. The median home value in California is $472,100 in 2015. A house in a great school district that cost 50% more would be $708,150. That is an additional $263,050 right there. And that doesn’t include the lower cost of upkeep for will be a more forgiving neighborhood. And the lower cost of ongoing operations in a smaller house (air conditioning, heating, hot water, replacing the roof and so on).

A good kind of peer pressure

We did exactly this in the DC area and our house is now worth about $400,000 (on a really good day). That might seem like a lot but it’s on the low end – even for our neighborhood. We live in a largely blue collar neighborhood with wonderful salt of the earth people. The only pressure to keep up with the Jones is to be self-reliant. With two mechanics on our street the idea of someone else washing our car or mowing the lawn is readily frowned upon. This “peer pressure” is a further financial turbo boost and part of the education of your child.

Sure the house won’t be as fancy as the more expensive version but that has its own appeal. And you are doing this for the benefit of the kid. Stop caring what other people might think of you. Embrace voluntary restrictions on consumption. Grow up. Be the adult here. You can still be cool. Forget square footage. These days it is all about how much more environmentally friendly your smaller (and presumably older) house is for the planet. Brag about your stewardship of the planet. Your an environmentalist now!

Your child will eventually move away from home – but the values, mental models, and behaviors they pick up at school will be part of their identity for their entire lives.

I look forward to seeing you in our neighborhood soon as you downsize. You are welcome to use our leaf blower – I will show you how to use it.

“The beautiful thing about learning is no one can take it away from you.” — B.B. King

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