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Old 09-18-2012, 06:35 PM   #1
westjones
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College student spending money....

I have twins who both started college this year. Originally we told them they both have to work for their spending money.

Well one of my DD has a mild learning disability; it takes her twice as long to read as others and she is part of the college's 'Student With Disabilities" program and can take longer for her tests and get tutoring.

We are now not sure about having her work because we really want her to do well in school, and college is so much harder and they don't offer the type of support she had in high school so it has been a huge adjustment.

So if she doesn't work for her spending money, and I am sure there are others who children also don't do this (my neighbor's daughter is in a very difficult engineering program and she don't want her to work either because her courses are so demanding).....how much spending money do you give to your college students each month?

Thanks
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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I hope this helps - we have a DD in college - and at a "question/answer" session that the parents had iwth the student leaders for the student orientation - this question came up. So - it was a question a freshman parent asked of a group of students - mostly juniors (although there were a few seniors and 1 sophomore).

The general range was $10-20 per week (actually the individual answers were mostly $10-15 and $15-20). Only 1 person said $30/week, and while you might have had to be there to appreciate his answer - he really likes food, and lots of it, and he went out for food - lots of it.

Hope that helps!
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by westjones View Post
I have twins who both started college this year. Originally we told them they both have to work for their spending money.

Well one of my DD has a mild learning disability; it takes her twice as long to read as others and she is part of the college's 'Student With Disabilities" program and can take longer for her tests and get tutoring.

We are now not sure about having her work because we really want her to do well in school, and college is so much harder and they don't offer the type of support she had in high school so it has been a huge adjustment.

So if she doesn't work for her spending money, and I am sure there are others who children also don't do this (my neighbor's daughter is in a very difficult engineering program and she don't want her to work either because her courses are so demanding).....how much spending money do you give to your college students each month?

Thanks
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
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My grandparents gave me $50 a month while I was away at school. I was never rolling in money so I always spent it wisely. I went to a private university so many of my classmates had unlimited credit cards at their disposal. I didn't have that so I was left out of dinners off campus, shopping trips or concerts in the city. Looking back at it now, I'm glad I went through what I did. As an adult with a job and bills I now focus my money on more important things and know it's value.

I wish your daughter the best of luck this year! I went through a special needs program at my school and was so lucky to have it. It's a big change from High school but it's all worth it in the end!
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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I wish your daughter the best of luck this year! I went through a special needs program at my school and was so lucky to have it. It's a big change from High school but it's all worth it in the end!
Thanks! It has been a huge adjustment. I think she will adjust, but the first year is the hardest to get used to. But she is trying....I just want to give her the best shot at succeeding, and to also let her have some fun times along the way.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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We don't want our daughter to work in college either, at least not while she is cheering because cheer takes up a lot of her time. She gets $100 per month as spending money from her grandmother. Anything else she needs for spending money she gets from the money she saved from her job last summer, although my husband slips her a twenty every time we go to see her cheer at a football game. We pay for everything else she needs (tuition, dorm, meal plan, etc).
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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I might sound mean to you, but I don't give my college kids ANY spending money, and they have to work in the summer to contribute to their expenses. The oldest lives with his girlfriend, so while I will pay his tuition, I offer NO MONEY towards his rent. The second has a big scholarship and some grants, plus I work at her university and get a very big discount, so we split the bill ( she really doesn't have to pay much). I found that when I was paying for everything they did not think so much about what they were doing, the oldest didn't get great grades. When THEIR time and money were on the table, doing the best they could became much more important to them.

My kids are bright and talented and have had no problem finding summer work.

I agree that working during the school year is tricky and that each student has to weigh the course load, outside activities, etc when considering whether working during the school year is a good idea or not. Grades come first, and if they can't maintain high grades while working they should focus strictly on school. On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason why a student who is not paying for any of their school could not work during the summer and save that money for spending money.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:10 PM   #8
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Oh I understand those who say they give no money. We said that....but are now reevaluating the situation because our daughter who was used to the wonderful resource room at her high school is struggling to adjust to college. And bottom line, we want her to graduate.

Not all children are lucky enough to be the top of their class with no problems at all, but even children with mild learning disabilities deserve their best shot at a career. And working at a fast food place for spending money is a good thing, but not if your child is struggling.

My problem also is my girls are twins, only one has the learning disability, but if I give one money I will have to give the other money too. My other daughter has a job. The one did have a job, but we could see she needed to drop it.

But $10 a week wouldn't be bad. They both live at home and eat at home, and we pay for tuition, fees and books. But I do want her to be able to go out with friends and hang out once in a while. She wants to work at a camp next summer, so hopefully she will be able to make money over the summer for next year.

Just trying to figure out this year.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:19 PM   #9
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Oh I understand those who say they give no money. We said that....but are now reevaluating the situation because our daughter who was used to the wonderful resource room at her high school is struggling to adjust to college. And bottom line, we want her to graduate.

Not all children are lucky enough to be the top of their class with no problems at all, but even children with mild learning disabilities deserve their best shot at a career. And working at a fast food place for spending money is a good thing, but not if your child is struggling.

My problem also is my girls are twins, only one has the learning disability, but if I give one money I will have to give the other money too. My other daughter has a job. The one did have a job, but we could see she needed to drop it.

But $10 a week wouldn't be bad. They both live at home and eat at home, and we pay for tuition, fees and books. But I do want her to be able to go out with friends and hang out once in a while. She wants to work at a camp next summer, so hopefully she will be able to make money over the summer for next year.

Just trying to figure out this year.
Since she's living at home, you'll know more about what she wants to do during the week than kids who are away. I would sit down and talk with your daughters and tell them you'd like for them to have a bit of "fun" money and then talk with them about a reasonable amount.

I am pretty cheap and think college kids who would go out to dinner once a week with friends would need at least $15 for that, so I would say $15 to $20 per week with the understanding that you can revisit the situation if it seems they are taking advantage of your generosity.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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Our freshman daughter went across the country for college. I have access to her online banking. As she continues to demonstrate her financial integrity and sense of responsibility, we will demonstrate our appreciation by supporting those expenditures that relate to her schoolwork.

So...we have no hard rule on this so far. She has an unlimited meal plan and we send quarters for laundry. If she continues to spend reasonably, we will help her when and if she asks. We had her on a budget through high school. She now has a block of cash (from working all summer). If she can continue budgeting appropriately, we'll help her make that last until she can work full-time next summer.

Hope this isn't a "non answer". I guess my short answer is this: We're figuring it out as we go along!!!
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #11
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Oh I understand those who say they give no money. We said that....but are now reevaluating the situation because our daughter who was used to the wonderful resource room at her high school is struggling to adjust to college. And bottom line, we want her to graduate.

Not all children are lucky enough to be the top of their class with no problems at all, but even children with mild learning disabilities deserve their best shot at a career. And working at a fast food place for spending money is a good thing, but not if your child is struggling.

My problem also is my girls are twins, only one has the learning disability, but if I give one money I will have to give the other money too. My other daughter has a job. The one did have a job, but we could see she needed to drop it.

But $10 a week wouldn't be bad. They both live at home and eat at home, and we pay for tuition, fees and books. But I do want her to be able to go out with friends and hang out once in a while. She wants to work at a camp next summer, so hopefully she will be able to make money over the summer for next year.

Just trying to figure out this year.
I completely understand the situation. I am going into my senior (well 5th year) in college and my 3rd year at this particular university. I haven't worked during school since my first year at community college when I was 19. My parents have always believed that school comes first. That means classes, research programs, volunteer work, etc.

However, I really like working....I really do. But my parents completely forbid me to work my first 2 years at this school. Reason being....I am also a part of disabilities services at my school but for medical reasons. I usually miss anywhere between 3 days and 3 weeks of classes each quarter (10 weeks). My parents wanted me focusing on my classes and my health.... And it has paid off. I have above a 3.8 right now....wouldn't have been possible if I was working. Also, just try getting a part time job when you are sick all the time and always away for appointments....not easy

So....all of that was to say that even as a junior and 4th year (and now 5th year)my parents still gave me spending money. But we didn't have a set amount. I would just ask when I needed something and my mom would transfer it to my bank. On average, my parents probably give me $100/ week for necessities and $50/month for extras. They also still pay for most of my clothes, etc.
It really all depends on the individual and their situation though.

Good luck to your daughters! If the disabilities center at their school is anything like ours here, it is an amazing thing to have and is soooooooo helpful. If it wasnt for them, there is no way I would be able to go to school full time.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by westjones View Post
My problem also is my girls are twins, only one has the learning disability, but if I give one money I will have to give the other money too. My other daughter has a job. The one did have a job, but we could see she needed to drop it.

Just trying to figure out this year.
I didn't get a chance to read through all the posts. But I wanted to share how I work it with my DD18 and DS17. DD18 is a freshman in college. She has learning disabilities and we really do not want her to work at all right now and just focus on school, at least this first semester and maybe the whole year. DS17 is a senior in high school.

My deal with my DS17 is that I will give him $30 a week as long as he gives me his entire paycheck for me to bank. He wants a car next year. Sometimes I get the shortend of the stick when his check doesn't cover the $30 a week, but it usually does and then some. $30 may seem like a lot, but it also includes his gas money (can't believe it is at $4 a gallon). Occasionally there have been times when he needed extra money like toward the end of the summer his friends went to an amusement park and did some other things. So I let him keep his paycheck, but I did not give an allowance that week. I think it is working really well because 1. he is saving his money for his goal and 2. even though his paychecks vary, he is learning how to work with a set amount each week. If it is gone by Monday, then he is short until Fri.

My DD18 gets the $30 allowance as long as she is not working and focusing on her studies. Next year will be different because she will be expected to get a summer job. She didn't have one this past summer because I asked her to help me with her younger sister which she did. If she shows that she can handle her studies and a job, then we will reconsider the situation.

It is tough being fair to both children when they are the same or close in age.

Anyway, just thought I would share what is working for us.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by NJOYURLIFE View Post

It is tough being fair to both children when they are the same or close in age.

Anyway, just thought I would share what is working for us.
Thanks for sharing what you guys are doing. That is a good idea. And yes, it is very tough being fair when they are in two different situations.

But it is good to hear how others are handling things to give us some ideas of what to do.

Today was their birthday, so for now, they both have some money, so we have a little time to figure this out.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:19 AM   #14
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Thoughts on the subject, not really on the OP because haven't given spending money. We may at some point have this issue, since my youngest's savings account isn't going real well.

My kids worked/are working summers in high school so they had a head start on spending money. We don't expect working during the school year, but it's certainly a bonus.

Just wanted to chime in about on-campus jobs with a suggestion not too many people think about. When I was in college, after working one semester in food service I was able to get on the banquet list. That meant I could sign up when I wanted to work according to my own schedule - could be twice a week, could be twice a month, it didn't matter to them. I encouraged my college student to look for that kind of job. He's just starting his second year and is on the "events parking" list. In addition to "events," tell your students to look for catering, babysitting, etc. opportunities where you can just take one time jobs.
My school had a similar system set up. Once you got your food in the door, it became easier to get other jobs. I started out working in the dining hall, then switched to the front desk at the dorm I lived in (cushiest part time job EVER, I pretty much got to sit there and do my homework the whole time, and we weren't supposed to get on the internet or use our personal cell phones so VERY few distractions) then for my last year and a half I worked as a parking nazi. Since my first two jobs were both with Housing and Dining, I got to keep the "raises" I got the first year for the second.

Those first two jobs, I only worked at most 12 hours a week when I worked the weekend, which we alternated. I could also take/trade other people's shifts for whatever reason.
The parking nazi job I worked closer to 20 or more, but I had the college thing down at that point.

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General annoyance about a misconception I think my parents' generation often has with the way college is now:

People often compare college life to the way it was decades ago with no idea what they are talking about, particularly if one had a bit of a fluffy degree and they're trying to push their habits onto someone with a very rigorous major.

School was cheaper then. Less credits were required for a degree. Things have changed and not working because there are simply too many classes is not being lazy imho.

As an undergrad I took 18 credits most semesters because engineering has a LOT of classes. I had about 20 credits more in required classes than my friends with other classes and that is a courseload where I already came in with some AP credit for general ed requirements or I would have had to take even more.

So that's roughly 18 hours of class a week unless one of them is a lab which could add an extra 2. There's a rule of thumb which our professors told us day one where you should spend 3 hours prepping/homework/studying for every hour in class and that was completely true for my major. So add 54 hours on. Actually, even go as low as 30 extra hours a week for the exceptional student. That's 48-72 hours for a 7 day week just on classwork for the clever to average student. It's already a full a time job and yes some people can tack on an extra 10-20 hours for a part time job but I don't think it's unreasonable that a lot can't and shouldn't. It just really bothers me when people act like college is some trivial thing. If you're doing it right, it's not.
I had several conversations with my grandma who told me I should take more classes a semester, because it cost the same once you hit full time. Apparently, it didn't occur to her that it might not be the same thing 50 years later at a completely different university.

Ultimately, the actual amount of money needed boils down to the individual student and what they'll be spending it on. Even after I moved out of the dorms, my expenses were very low. Other than rent/utilities & tuition I probably spent less than $200/month on everything else. When I lived in the dorms, I MAYBE spent $50/month most of the time. That may have maxed out at $100 for the months when I had to buy a lot of architecture supplies. I didn't have a lot of time for "fun" activities though. Most of the money I earned during the semester, I saved to pay for tuition and housing the next semester.
I didn't have a car until my senior year, and I hardly drove it when I did have one.
If you're just planning on money for incidentals - the occasional pizza, and/or ticket to the movies, then $50/month would probably be fine. If their extra money needs to cover regular food expenses, gas money, clothing (I hardly bought any clothes while in college, but some people do) and entertainment, then I think $300-400 would cover it.

It may be a good idea to start with the bare minimum, then up it when necessary. I got $100/month in the mail from my grandparents, while I was in college, and the only time I had to ask my parents for money was when the semester turned over and I needed to pay for tuition and housing. My brother, on the other hand, calls my Mom pretty much every month to ask for money. He has a car payment, and only works during the summer, so he "runs out" of money quickly.
Be clear about your expectations, and keep communication lines open. I always knew I could call my parents to ask for money, but I tried to keep the instances where I needed it at a minimum. I didn't feel as if I was missing out on anything by not having unlimited funds at my disposal, but I also chose where I spent my money carefully.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:46 PM   #15
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I might sound mean to you, but I don't give my college kids ANY spending money, and they have to work in the summer to contribute to their expenses. The oldest lives with his girlfriend, so while I will pay his tuition, I offer NO MONEY towards his rent. The second has a big scholarship and some grants, plus I work at her university and get a very big discount, so we split the bill ( she really doesn't have to pay much). I found that when I was paying for everything they did not think so much about what they were doing, the oldest didn't get great grades. When THEIR time and money were on the table, doing the best they could became much more important to them.

My kids are bright and talented and have had no problem finding summer work.

I agree that working during the school year is tricky and that each student has to weigh the course load, outside activities, etc when considering whether working during the school year is a good idea or not. Grades come first, and if they can't maintain high grades while working they should focus strictly on school. On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason why a student who is not paying for any of their school could not work during the summer and save that money for spending money.
I don't think it's mean and we do the same for our DD, but OP specifically stated that there are learning issues involved. I think in that case, it would be setting a child up to fail if you expect her to work. She already has to put in more time to achieve the same results. I am all for working in the summer, but not during the school year and I would provide monetary support for that.
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