Another good podcast guys, I enjoyed it.
I think the school issue is one where there are a bunch of different scenarios. I agree that in general you want to be thinking about what you’re spending your money on and deciding if it’s worthwhile rather than sending your kid off to a private school for the sake of it.
Having said that it doesn’t have to be either the local public school or $30k a year at an elite private one. There are plenty of private schools around that are well under $10k a year or even $5k a year, and if your child is going to be a lot happier there or less unhappy than at a public one, it is a lot less of a tradeoff to have to make than a $30k a year decision would be.
I’ve also had a lot of friends with kids that have some special needs that the public system where they live is absolutely useless for helping their kid, but the private school is much better and their child is now thriving whereas previously they were coming home miserable every day.
Similarly if you have a child who is interested in a particular sport or subject and it’s not possible through the public school but the private school offers it, that might be worth paying extra for.
Then there’s also the issue of will your child benefit from a private school down the track, and that to some extent will depend on their career. In some professions it’s all about who you know. Going to the right school or the right type of school helps you get your foot in the door, as well as helping you do the job if it’s a sales or network based job. For other jobs, not so much.
So I think you need to make a conscious decision about why you’re considering private school, and deciding if it’s worth the tradeoff.