We all need to balance our expenses, current and future, against our debts, then make a guess as to the best approach.
What I have found to be true is that saving for that rainy day and retirement are paramount.
I've always told our two boys I expected them to go to college. When our older son was 16 years old, I took him to an investment institution, and the broker was good enough to explain about the stock market to him. I let him invest his college funds, and he did quite well for awhile. To make a long story short, I paid for his college tuition and room and board while he was in college until he earned his BS degree. 27 years later, he's now working at UOT in Austin (where he earned his MS), and we still help him financially.
Life's lessons are not easy and they are unpredictable.