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Consider if people could do what you thought of and earmark funds as "not for college use".

But people already do this....when they put stuff in retirement accounts. This still gets included on the form but it does not get "counted" like a regular cash account because it has been "earkmarked" for something else (in this case, retirement). My question really is are there any other accounts like this that I can utilize for my e-fund?

Worse case, I guess I can use my contributions to a Roth as my e-fund, and draw down my cash account. By the time my kids go this strategy should not effect my retirement savings.

The first thing to realize is law, especially tax law is arbitrary. Example, reduced capital gains rate is arbitrary, unlike the US which only taxes realized capital gains, there are countries which tax unrealized capital gains as well. People can come up with any number of reasons reduced tax rates exist for capital gains, but it all comes down to "someone thinks it is a good idea" and they managed to convince a bunch of people to go along. I'm not here to debate capital gains tax rates, I'm just to take advantage of them.

Given that tax law is arbitrary:

1) There are legal restrictions on IRAs which makes placing money into them more of a commitment than placing money in a savings account

2) The government wants to encourage retirement savings and not generic savings so retirement savings are treated special.

3) Divorce your wife and let her have custody. Non-custodial parent's income disclosed to FAFSA
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