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Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 02, 2018 02:39PM
My daughter is leaving for college this fall and I'm not sure how to handle finances. We will be paying all of her school expenses out of her 529 plan but I have to think she will need some folding money for doing activities with her friends. I do not want her to work during her first year at college. I'm sure others here have been in this position and I'm hoping you can offer some advice.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 02, 2018 02:40PM
We gave our kids an allowance.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Pam
Date: May 02, 2018 02:47PM
I worked part time while carrying a full class load. It's not that hard. That was my fun, book, travel home, and incidentals money. The last two years I didn't have dining hall so it also became my food money. I lived and ate like a very poor person. But it was college and I wasn't alone. And I liked the independence.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: raz
Date: May 02, 2018 02:49PM
Part of her financial aid package might be Work/Study. In which case, the college will be assuming she works a few hours a week.

That said, our kids just billed us for their expenses, and we paid those that were legitimate (clothes, books, transportation home, ...) and not the rest (bar tabs ...)



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Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 02, 2018 03:02PM
Quote
Pam
I worked part time while carrying a full class load. It's not that hard.

....when was that?



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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: dk62
Date: May 02, 2018 03:04PM
We gave our kids allowance as well.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 02, 2018 03:12PM
I'll note that most of my 'fun money' when I was in college was earned when i worked the summers between semesters. I busted my tush to save up a thousand or so. Took all the OT I could, etc. At 2.65 an hour min wage, it took a lot. Towards the end I was making up to $4.50 an hour as a maintenance dude, fixing busted stuff in sketchy apartment buildings. By then I had a car, and that ate money REAL fast.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 02, 2018 03:22PM
Not sure the "atmosphere" of the school, but why not just like 10 hours a week working?

Schools are different -- when I was at Long Beach State there were 40,000 students, all ages, and largely a commuter school with students from all over So Cal. When I was at Chico State there were 11000 students -- the parking lot at LB State was the size of the entire Chico campus -- and 90% of the students lived within one mile of campus.

Long Beach, no one hung out, Chico, everyone hung out.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Buck
Date: May 02, 2018 03:26PM
All our kids worked through college. 2-3 jobs, and take a semester off. All finished without debt.
All started at Community College, with some credits earned while in High School.
We helped with incidentals. Your kids are lucky to have a 529 fund.
I feel bad I didn't plan for it, but my kids are more than fine.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2018 03:27PM by Buck.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: May 02, 2018 03:29PM
Quote
cbelt3
I'll note that most of my 'fun money' when I was in college was earned when i worked the summers between semesters. I busted my tush to save up a thousand or so. Took all the OT I could, etc. At 2.65 an hour min wage, it took a lot.

This is more or less what I did though Min wage was 3.35 at the time. My parents wanted me to concentrate on school while school was in session and not on a job. However, I had enough free time that a part time job wouldn't have curtailed my studies too much.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Pam
Date: May 02, 2018 03:33PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Pam
I worked part time while carrying a full class load. It's not that hard.

....when was that?

77-81. Pay won't go as far as it did then, but a part time job is not difficult to carry while full time as a student. I couldn't afford to eat at McDonalds or shop at the brand new mall, but oh well.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 02, 2018 03:37PM




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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: May 02, 2018 04:14PM
We have a son going into his senior year in college. He will graduate with no loans, no debts and we will have barely put anything out as well. You do not have to go broke if you think things through. Here are some tips --

If there is a Publix near her - they pay tuition of all employees (even part-time) who claim a major in approved areas like accounting, business, advertising, etc. Many minimum wage baggers work 5-10 hrs a week, claim to major in those areas for the first two years while taking general education classes and get fully reimbursed. Other companies may do the same, but no idea which.

If you can swing it - buy a two bedroom house (condo, townhouse), then rent out the second bedroom. You'll be able to sell it when she finishes school, likely for more than you paid. We are doing that with our son and the rent is more than the mortgage payment, so he essentially lives free. I figure we will save at least $24,000 in rent that we would never get back. Shop now - the best deals are in April & May. Even if you are using 529 money, you get it back ratherthan just pay out. (A couple hints if you go this route -- get a keypad doorlock. It is easier to change a code when a roommate moves than to rekey the lock. Also, for peace of mind, put a fire extinguisher in all bedrooms and the kitchen).

RENT books from Amazon, but only after going to the first class and insuring that the book is needed. Many schools require profs to list a required text even if they don't intend to use it.

Be sure you are familiar with the American Opportunity Tax Credit. You will get a $2500 tax CREDIT (not deduction). You will need her 1098T from the school when you do your taxes.

Be honest - does she need a car? Parking on most campus's is a nightmare. Teenage insurance is expensive, plus gas and upkeep. Can she get by with a bicycle or scooter in town? Then to get home there is the bus, friends or a rental car. I'm not endorsing this idea, just thinking outside the box.

Teach her to cook - eating out (or delivery) is expensive.

My son and his roommate decided that wearing a sweater was worth the lower utility bill. They were able to drop the thermostat by 10 degrees, about a 30% savings. He also loves his electric mattress pad.

one last thing for her, not you -- ratemyprofessor.com (never take a class without checking out the prof in advance)
Good luck - it will be an interesting few years.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2018 04:16PM by Ombligo.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 02, 2018 04:48PM
Ok, I'm wondering if a lot of folks here are answering a question you didn't ask-how can she earn money. i assumed you were asking "How should we get money to her?" FWIW, my recommendation is that you open a joint checking account, let her know you're going to put $X in every month, and (barring errors in your original setting the amount or emergencies/unusual circumstances) when the money runs out, she's broke until the next month.

Beyond that, I couldn't agree more with Ombligo, assuming your daughter is mature enough to be a landlord.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 02, 2018 04:54PM
....this is probably her 1st time on her own, so you want to teach her how to live on her own, financially, as well.......as mentioned best to open joint bank account that you can transfer money into immediately.....credit card would not be a good idea.....too much temptation to overspend.....

......worked my way through college, not work/study, but real job and lived only on that [ no spending money from parents ].....I saved a lot when younger and learned to manage my own expenses.......never took any money from parents and was independent.......had loans but paid those off eventually........



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Janit
Date: May 02, 2018 05:18PM
Depends a lot on the school, the workload, and her attitude toward study.

At Harvard, the workload was so heavy that I never would have survived if I had needed to work as well. Of course, I was committed to reading everything that was assigned because I wanted to get a real education, not just a C-level symbolic degree.

I did work in labs in the summers for "pocket money" but the stipends were not particularly high. The summer work was more useful for getting into graduate school than it was for actual finances.

I know I was lucky to be able to do it that way, but the reward was that I was able to snag an NSF fellowship for graduate school, which made me independent of my parents AND my thesis advisor.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Michael
Date: May 02, 2018 06:10PM
We got our kid a Visa Buxx card from Wells Fargo when she was in high school and she took it to college. At the time it was a free, reloadable VISA debit card. We loaded it from our Wells account and the money appeared instantly in her Visa Buxx account. I just looked and Wells doesn't have them anymore and the place I found them costs $5 per month. But, this looks like a free alternative: [www.chimebank.com]{AdId}&gclid=CjwKCAjww6XXBRByEiwAM-ZUIILOtd8zKymrDJO2LXlcPXbZae9m_QFQZy1YGyzPKemGk7hZWyBm-BoCBr8QAvD_BwE

The Visa Buxx worked well since almost everything could be paid for by swiping. When she needed walking around money, she could get it from ATMs all over the place for free. Since it's prepaid, she couldn't run up a balance. It stopped working when she ran out of money.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: May 02, 2018 06:52PM
I worked 2-3 shifts/week in the cafeteria while carrying 18-20credits/semester while I was in college. Kept me out of trouble.



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MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: May 02, 2018 07:28PM
First year parents had an allowance done per semester. After that I was expected to earn my book and spending money with summer jobs.

Also did 10 hours a week in the dining hall sophomore year on while carrying a full load. It wasn't that hard to do.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: $tevie
Date: May 02, 2018 08:00PM
The OP was pretty specific about not wanting her to work her first year of college. Just sayin'.

There's a couple of ways to get cash to her quickly and easily. PayPal Me lets you send gifts so they don't take any percentage out of it. My family has used the CASH app, with no problems, if you are in a big rush for your money you can pay to have it moved to your bank account instantly, otherwise you wait a day.

You can probably get a joint bank account that you can both access but does not allow her to access the primary account. Then all you do is transfer from the main account to her account, and she can use her debit card to withdraw cash or to pay using her card.



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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 03, 2018 12:39AM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Pam
I worked part time while carrying a full class load. It's not that hard.

....when was that?

I worked full time while going to college 18-21 credits a quarter, and was a volunteer leader for a Sea Scout ship. Mid 90s. If you want to, you can make it work. Graduated school debt free.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2018 12:40AM by Racer X.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 03, 2018 11:04AM
Thank you for all of the good advice. Like many of you my wife and I worked 2-3 jobs while attending college and often didn't buy as much food at the grocery store as we would have liked. We are fairly well off now and my daughter has worked very hard to have a high GPA and to complete AP classes in high school while attending a small private high school. When she goes to college she will have a massive culture shock and that is why I do not want her to work during her first year. I want her to focus on her academics. Once I'm satisfied she has settled into her new environment I will certainly be pressuring her to find a job.

Many of you have said you gave your kids an allowance every month. Did you tie it to anything specific or did you just say "$300 a month should do it..." I'm just not sure how much to give her. Thanks again.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: 3d
Date: May 03, 2018 02:45PM
In addition to the education costs, what else are you covering for her?
Gas, food, cell phone?

So the $300 a month is to cover clothing, beer, entertainment and random "girl stuff"? That should be enough. Hmm.. when she's out drinking she really should take a cab/Uber so let's make it $400 a month.

Or how about a $400 a month loan?
To be paid back in years 2-4 when she's employed part time.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 03, 2018 05:53PM
Right now she uses our family credit card and we pay for pretty much everything. When she goes to college her main expenses will be gas, snacks, coffee, dinner out, bathroom supplies, and clothing. I can’t think of anything else. Maybe I should transition her away from the family credit card to using her debit card and put an allowance directly into checking. That way she can get used to budgeting before she leaves for college.

.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: Acer
Date: May 03, 2018 09:49PM
Quote

Maybe I should transition her away from the family credit card to using her debit card and put an allowance directly into checking. That way she can get used to budgeting before she leaves for college.

This sounds like a very good idea. Personally, I'd err on the lean side. If you really want her to focus on her academics, too much money won't help her manage her time. You can always bump it up if expenses truly need it.

What is the setting? A small college in a small, possibly dry town means there really isn't much to spend your money on. University in a bustling city means tons of cool cultural experiences that will take more capital.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 03, 2018 10:49PM
Small city and I think the college is 10,000 strong. She isn’t currently a drinker.
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 04, 2018 06:31AM
....the Visa Buxx card sounds like an idea, too bad it no longer exists.....find a card that has a limit but that you can refill if necessary.......I think American Express has one [ or used to have one. not sure if it still exists ].........



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: August West
Date: May 04, 2018 01:53PM
Quote

Of course, I was committed to reading everything that was assigned because I wanted to get a real education, not just a C-level symbolic degree.

Heh, I was committed too, but still had to hit the cliff notes occasionally.

As far as spending money, I'd look for an AV Department. Much of the time was spent waiting around for class periods to start/stop, and you could study during the down time.



Picasso in his studio after the liberation of Paris, taken by my friend and mentor.

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Re: Finances for daughter going to college
Posted by: davester
Date: May 04, 2018 06:11PM
Quote
davemchine
Right now she uses our family credit card and we pay for pretty much everything.

Woah! I sure wish I had parents like that when I was of high school or college age. My parents paid for pretty much nothing (other than food and clothing basics).



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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