Little Boy's 'Financial Plan' To Have Parents Skip Birthdays & Christmas Has Many Saying He Should Just Be Allowed To Be A Kid

His passion and dedication to his future are inspiring, but should a kid have to be this worried about tuition?

screenshot about tiktok in which a kid wants to save for college tuition by skipping presents @linsfam33 / TikTok

Some kids just know what they want out of life, right from the jump, and a mom on TikTok's son is one of them. He's so invested in his future he's already thinking about how to pay for college.

And while his passion is downright contagious, some can't help but wonder if a kid so young should have to be worrying about such things.

A kid wants to save for college tuition by having his parents stop giving him birthday and Christmas gifts.

One Friday night, TikToker @linsfam33 discovered what her son had been up to all evening. "It was 10:30 on a Friday night," she wrote in a video caption. "Our youngest had been quiet. So quiet that I thought he had gone to bed. Nope."


RELATED: Woman Says College Is A 'Scam' Kids Have Been 'Brainwashed' Into & Tells High Schoolers To 'Stop Going' 

Her 10-year-old son came up from the basement with a big idea on how to secure his future — have his parents skip giving him gifts for the rest of his childhood and save that money instead for his college tuition.

The 10-year-old had come up with a whole 'financial presentation' on drawing paper that laid out how much money his parents could save. 

"I asked mom how much money she spends on my present for my birthday," the kid told his parents as he held up the paper bearing his presentation. "She said $100. So when I'm 19, I'll be moving out," he continued, "so if I put all that money, $900, then I have to think about Christmas. It's also $100."


He then laid out the math of skipping Christmas and birthday presents and how it would impact his tuition at the University of Minnesota, Morris, where he hopes to go to college. "Nine-hundred dollars plus $900 is 1800. So then the price of Morris for two years is $24,000 currently. If... instead, of getting presents from you, I just get the money for college, then I'll be 9% of the way there!"

RELATED: Mom Shares The Gifts She's Sending With Her Daughter To College — 'Open When You're Feeling Sad'

Pretty incredible stuff from a 10-year-old. But, of course, he's just a kid, so his parents asked him to clarify if he really wanted to go on with this plan, but he was all in. His mom couldn't help but laugh about the whole thing. "So that's what you've been working on downstairs at 10:00 at night?"

His parents weren't the only ones to take notice of this enterprising little guy. His dream college even saw his video and they reached out to encourage him to keep on trucking toward his dreams, sending him a big box of University of Minnesota, Morris swag to keep him inspired.


kid wants to save for college tuition asks parents to not give him birthday or christmas presentsPhoto: TikTok / @linsfam33

RELATED: The Pressure For Kids To Leave Home At 18 Is Really Just A Ploy To Make People Pay More Rent

The brilliant 10-year-old already knows exactly what he wants from life and how to get it. But a child this young having to think about tuition shows just how broken the American higher education system really is.

Experts say it's good and healthy for young kids to have a sense of what they want from life. Research has shown that kids as young as four or five are capable of thinking about their future adulthood, and many begin formulating plans at that time as well. And this little guy is certainly one of them. 


In follow-up TikToks, the kid said, "I want to be an engineer or a chemist because I really like science," and commenters on TikTok were absolutely here for it.

"This kid is going places," one wrote, while another joked, "Why does he have more ambition than me?!"



But it's what he said when his mom asked him what inspired his "financial presentation" that should give us all pause. "I was thinking about how expensive college was... and I was trying to think of a way where I could make it less money. And then I remembered I do have a lot of toys, so why not just get money instead?"


There is no denying that it is incredible and inspiring that this kid has such a clear vision for his future, and it's a testament to his parents that he's so intelligent and confident.

But there's just no way around it — no elementary schooler should have to be contemplating sacrificing toys so that he can have a chance at a future. As one TikTok commenter put it, "Smart kid... [but] I wish we lived in a world where kids can just be kids and not be thinking about the cost of tuition."

RELATED: 29-Year-Old Pretends To Be A High School Student Because She Is Lonely & Wants To Feel Safe Again

But our education system has made it so that having this kind of fortitude at such a young age isn't just a benefit — it's a necessity.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, college tuition skyrocketed by 69% between 2000 and 2021, and has increased every year since 1981. Meanwhile, the Foundation for Economic Education finds that even fields that used to not even require a high school diploma now require a bachelor's degree.


For example, 17% of hotel clerks and 23.5% of amusement park attendants hold bachelor's degrees, and these trends, called "credential inflation," combined with economic forces like soaring housing costs and wage stagnation, mean the real value of a college degree — that is, its power to land a person a good job with a good salary — is steadily declining.

kid wants to save for college tuition asks parents to not give him birthday or christmas presentsPhoto: TikTok / @linsfam33


So where does that leave enterprising kids like this? In a total double-bind, forced to contemplate how to pay for an education that is staggeringly expensive but may not even provide the leg up they need to succeed, all at an age when they should be dreaming, playing, exploring and enjoying the freedom of being a kid.

It's incredible that @linsfam33's kid wants to save for college tuition and is so excited and engaged in his future. But no kid should have to be weighing whether to trade birthday presents for an education. What kind of dystopian system is that?

RELATED: High Schooler With 4.1 GPA Explains Why She Thinks She Was Rejected From 'Every College She Applied To'

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.