“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

We never stop learning. And, the older we get, the more we know how little we know! For some of us, learning happens in the school of life, for others, we need to choose a more dedicated and focussed channel for tertiary education.

Planning and saving for tertiary education, either for yourself or your children, is best done in advance. Even if you don’t start saving as early as you’d like, it’s never too late to start planning! When planning your savings goals there are several considerations, the first addresses the type of institution or learning platform – universities, colleges and online places of learning.

If you choose a brick-and-mortar institution, there are transport and accommodation costs to think about when you’re planning your budget. For online courses, most of the material is included, but for many under- and postgraduate courses you may need to purchase textbooks and other supporting reading material.

Technology too is a cost – from a laptop or tablet to monthly data costs, these sundries are often overlooked and can quickly put pressure on your education budget.

Starting to save now, even if your children are still in primary school, is a powerful way to limit the later pressures of making decisions that will already be difficult to make. If you’re considering continuing your own education, start planning for it in your budget whilst you’re still deciding what to study. If you find it difficult to choose, remember that experiential learning is another option.

Experiential learning is an active, learner-centric practice, where learners put knowledge and skills to use in a meaningful way. You improve your ability to immediately apply knowledge because you have access to real-time coaching and feedback.

Experiential learning methods include team building activities, management games, theatre or drama, storytelling and adventure or simulation based learning.

Compared to traditional learning, experiential learning is said to have a retention rate of up to 90% because it requires deep involvement, where you use your own critical thinking and problem-solving skills throughout the entire experience. You learn through your own process of self-discovery.

Whichever way of learning you like, the first important thing is to know what you and your family want in life. As Jim Rohn once said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Choose the best way of learning based on how it will continue improving your life. The essence of education is that it develops in us a perspective of looking at life and the knowledge we may need to change the world around us for the better.

Keep that in mind as you and your children decide which way of learning will propel your lives forward.