$23,000 for Kindergarten


Cy Twombly, Untitled VIII [Bacchus]
A handful of my friends paid $23,000 a year, per child, to send their youngins to Kindergarten.

The school has perks. While watching the band at the annual FUNdraiser, a couple of other parents jumped out of the audience to play along. Those folks were Joan Jett and Dave Grohl. Pretty cool. You gotta love LA.  Rock ‘n Grohl !!!

I’ll tell you where that school isn’t spending the money: art classes. I’ve seen some of the scribbles my neighbors’ kids brought home. Then again, maybe they’re the next Cy Twombly.

I don’t have a child.  There is no ChipsMoneyTips, Jr.  I realize every decent parent wants the best for their mini-me.  But $23K seems like a lot to pay for schooling that, if the kid is like me, they’ll barely remember.  And I’m one of those people who remembers everything.  Am I nuts?

According to this, Dave Grohl is worth $260 million.  $23,000 is .0000884 % of his net worth.  For the Fighter of Foo, writing a $23K check for Kindergarten is pocket change.  DaveGrohlThat tuition feels the same to him as $8.84 for someone whose net worth is $100,000.

But if your net worth is $100,000, $23K feels like $23K, mostly because, it is $23K. That is 23% of your net worth.

What you do with your money is your business.  If you have that kind of extra cheddar – great!  Go nuts!!

If you aren’t on easy street, here are some things to consider before you spend $23,000 on Kindergarten versus sending your child to the public school down the street:

Some Perspective

  • Put $23K in a CD at a whopping 2.6% (currently the best rate) and it will build to $30K in ten years.  Use it to pay for private high school. You could throw it in a 529 account for college where it grows tax-free. See video below.
  • Buy a brand new tricked out 2015 Toyota Prius c Three for $22,590. No car payments. You own it. In 11 years, your Kindergartner can take his driving test in it!
  • Use that money to fully fund your IRA and 401k plans so your Kindergartner doesn’t have to support you in your geezer-dom.  You don’t want future-you eating kibble because of decisions made by present-you.
  • That $23K is money you have in your bank account after-taxes.  Everyone’s tax situation is different, but it is not unreasonable to ballpark that one probably has to make at least around $30K to end up with $23K after taxes.
  • Skip Kindergarten and go directly to college.  But seriously…  UCLA ain’t cheap.  That university is $10K less than your $23K Kindergarten.


Consumer Reports’ Best New Cars for Under $25,000.
U.S. News & World Report National Universities Rankings



  1. Great advice, Chip! I have two daughters in college and we were fortunate enough to set some $ aside in a 529!

  2. I called today & spoke to Custimer Retention. All I said was, I saw an ad that all new Direct Tv customers were receiving the NFL Ticket. I asked since I’ve been a loyal customer since 2012 & haven’t received any promos, could I have it free. She put me on hold for about a minute. Came back & said no problem. Just that easy! I checked my account & its been added & showing a credit! Thanks for the heads up!


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