College student spending money....

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by westjones, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Oh, it isn't just twins. I have two sons who are 20 months apart. They will be in college at the same time, so I have to figure out equality too. It is an issue NOW in some ways. My 7th grader can simply do more academically than my 9th grader. 7th grader already feels I require more of him. Sigh.

    Dawn

     
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  3. Pooh2

    Pooh2 Dis Veteran

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    My twins just graduated college. They worked full time summers and made their money last all year. They commuted and paid for their gas money out of summer earnings. They learned to be very frugal with their money!
     
  4. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    I give my child $100 for spending, haircut and laundry money. He's there to study, not to have fun. :)
     
  5. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    I have a college freshman, and we give her no spending money. We paid her tuition, dorm and meal plan -- the small stuff is her responsibility.

    I'm actually surprised that she isn't really going off-campus to eat, etc. She has the smallest meal plan a freshman's allowed, and she's already calculated that she's going to have a hard time spending all her food money. Students get into football games for free. They have two movie theaters on campus, which are $1. She isn't old enough to get into the bars, and now that she's becoming a health-nut, I suspect she'll never become a drinker. She and her roommate neither one have a car on campus, but they ride the free bus up to the grocery store or the shops. Her tuition includes book rental, which is a wonderful thing. She's still using her high school back pack and calculator. Long story short: I've quizzed her a couple of times about whether her money is sufficient, and she is spending much less than I anticipated.

    She was outraged that she had to spend $18 on a pair of goggles for her Chemistry class. She bought a few things for her dorm room. That's about it for spending.

    For your situation, it's too late this year, but I'd suggest having your daughter work during the summer and save her money for the school year. Say she works full time for 12 weeks during the summer and saves $200 each week (that'd leave her some summer spending money too); that'd give her roughly $80/week during the school year -- more than enough for small treats like meals out, movie tickets, an occasional item of clothing.

    I don't think working during the school year is too much for a college student -- even one who has to spend a more than average amount of time studying. This is especially true if she can get a job on campus; those jobs tend to be very flexible with time.
     
  6. disfan07

    disfan07 DIS Veteran

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    That all depends on who the student is and the courseload/major. And at my school, most jobs on campus are only work study jobs. Yes SOME college students can work and maintain greta grades at school just like SOME can't. There's no one size fits all situation for college students

    If I worked during the school year, there is no way I'd ever have a chance at getting into the post-bac programs I am looking at. It just wouldn't work in my situation. Plus...I already have a part-time job...10 hours a week of driving and doctors appointments...I just don't get paid for it...

    By not working during the shcool year and working my butt off in school, I will be eligible for scholarships and grants for post bac and research grants for those programs as well for pre-med.

    I hate it when people make broad statements that college students should be working while in school. It just isn't so simple
     
  7. danygirl

    danygirl DIS Veteran

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    Actually, I didn't mention before, but my oldest does have learning disabilities. (executive processing disorder, add, visual processing disorder).It doesn't mean that he can't work in the summer for spending money for the year, in fact, I believe it is more important for him to work because he needed to learn what was expected before he started doing internships or getting career related jobs. While schools will work with learning disabilities, jobs aren't so accommodating.

    I guess I should add that my parents paid for my room/board and I paid all my own tuition and spending money. Some years I worked, some years I got scholarship money. Seemed a good model to me.
     
  8. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    And yet when I was a student in the 80s, I'd estimate 70% of my college friends had jobs of some sort during the school year -- and they made it work because they had to do so. Some had classes only MWF and worked on TuTh, while others worked 3rd shift or weekends, and others worked intensely during holiday breaks. Pretty close to 100% worked during the summer. You say that it just wouldn't work for you, but IF YOU NEEDED to work, you'd figure it out one way or the other, no matter what your major or special needs. You'd sleep less, socialize less, become more efficient in your study time -- but you'd make it.

    Today, judging from what my college daughter says, I think fewer than half her college friends work during the school year -- and quite a few didn't even work during the summer. It's easy to say, "I can't because of this or that", but challenging majors, medical needs, and a need to keep grades up for scholarships, etc. aren't new concerns -- every generation has faced those same issues; learning to deal with them is part of becoming an independent adult. I think the difference is that it's become more acceptable to borrow these days, and many people use that as their first option rather than working. Also, I think that today's young people have lost some creativity and resourcefulness that previous generations had -- I think much of it has been replaced by the use of technology, which is useful in a completely different way.

    I don't think anyone said that college students "should be working", but IF it's a need, a college student should be capable of making it happen at least in some small way.
     
  9. BubMunkeyBles

    BubMunkeyBles DIS Veteran

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    I keep seeing people mention working in the summers because students won't be in class, do other states not have mandatory summer classes? My school mandated a certain number of summer courses and they were a lot harder than my regular school year classes. I think I was busier in the summer than regular semesters often. Also some majors run year round, but I'm sure that varies by program.

    Oh and my best college job was being an RA. :) Paid room and board and a little extra for really not that much work. :)
     
  10. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    OP,

    You do what YOU need to do for your daughter and what you can do. I wouldn't rely on a message board to answer this for me.


    Dawn
     
  11. allison443

    allison443 DIS Veteran

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    OP just want to say I think it's great you're being flexible and open to making adjustments to what was planned!

    For determining the amount, I think you and your dd could take a look at a typical week and what the amount is expected to cover. Are there free/low-cost events on campus or does she go to local restaurants, movies, etc.?

    $10 seems low to me...I would say at least $20. That would cover a movie/ice cream with friends, maybe a coffee during the week on campus, etc. I would take a look at typical activities and what they cost.

    Good luck! :)
     
  12. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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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.:crazy2:

    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.
     
  13. Fyrefly

    Fyrefly Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  14. addicted2dizney

    addicted2dizney DIS Veteran

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    I agree completely. I have a freshman who is a business major with two minors. She is taking her max credits this first semester and what you said for hours spent of study and prep time is exactly what she's been told and has been doing. The more rigorous the schedule and competitive the school the more effort is required. Then add in getting involved with clubs at school and there is not a ton of free time. My D has joined the gymnastics club to keep up skills as well as a club that raises seeing eye dogs at her school. It's made the difference with her settling in to school. Add in time for tutoring and group studies and I'm giving her $30 a week to cover incidentals including club fees and dues. D worked all summer and saved a ton of money so there is extra there if a school trip comes up or a concert. If the right job comes up for her, (prob something in the school or something a professor refers her to) then she can see if it works out for her and take it.
     
  15. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

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    We give our kids way more than what any of you have posted. However, they do not live at home. They have off-campus apartments and they do not have the meal plan. The money I put into their checking accounts each week goes to cover everything from food to toiletries to school supplies and activity fees.

    I think $10/week is way too low for a young adult. There are 8-year-olds who get more allowance. You cannot even buy a movie ticket for $10 anymore. But the amount that you give your kids is subject to what you expect them to pay for with their "spending money" and what your family can afford to give them.

    Personally, I would rather give my kids what they need to get by during their college years instead of insisting that they take on jobs while in school. Their first job is to graduate and it's a heck of a lot cheaper in the long run to pay for their extras for 4 years than it is to pay for 1 or 2 additional semesters (tuition + living expenses) because having a job prevented them from being able to complete their course load in 4 years.
     
  16. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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    My son works during the summer for his spending money. He's a lifeguard. He doesn't work when college is in session. My DD will go to college next year, we expect her to earn her spending money in the summer too.

    They have to make it last. This is when talk about budgeting came up. If you have $2000 to last you 10 months, how much does that mean you can spend each week? Not sure if he's sticking to a budget, but we at least talked about the need for one. (We pay for a meal plan and we buy him essentials when he's at home, like shampoo, bottled water, TP, etc).

    I worked during college, part-ttime at a department store to earn my money both during school and in the summer (when I got more hours).
     
  17. ssawka

    ssawka DIS Veteran

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    This is just a general answer and not direct towards the OP because she already gave answers to some of these questions, but in general... It Depends!

    • Are the students away at school or home?
    • Are they living in a dorm where their meals are covered 7 days a week?
    • What is there social life at school?

    When I was in school, I worked summers and a part-time job in a computer lab. I was in a fraternity and was responsible for my "social fees". I was also responsible for my weekend meals since the meal plan at the fraternity only covered Monday through Friday. I also had a car and had to pay for my own gas and insurance.

    If she can get a part-time job on campus that is not very demanding (i.e. a computer lab, library, etc.) That would probably be good as they would probably allow her to study during work hours if her assistance is not required.

    Also, I don't know how severe her learning disability is, but as for taking longer to read and take exams, I know the feeling. I absolutely despise reading and I am always the last one to leave the classroom during an exam. I am pretty sure I have ADD, although I have never been diagnosed. I am currently in the early stages of a PhD program, so I'm sure she will do just fine.

    One thing that has really helped me, which unfortunately I only recently discovered, was getting soft copies of text books and having the computer read to me. I am an auditory learner, so I find I can cover the material quicker and have a better retention. I have a Mac, so that feature is built in, but I'm sure there is Windows software you can get to do the same thing.
     
  18. nsmith

    nsmith Mouseketeer

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    We took over DD cell phone payment of $30 a month and put $25 in her account each week. She lives on campus. Last night she was talking about buying some new cloths, I told her to wait till her birthday (Nov) and Christmas. She has always been very responsible and has quite a bit of money in her account from working and knows she needs to go back to her job during Christmas and summer break.
     
  19. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    My parents paid for my college, books, dorm, meal plan, etc. I was not allowed to get a job - school was my job. However, I was expected to work full time over all breaks, and that money was my spending money (mostly waitressing).
     
  20. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    No, mandatory summer classes aren't a typical thing -- at least not for most majors. Some of the big-deal scholarships offer paid travel opportunities during the summer, but that's not really a widespread thing. My daughter is a nursing major, and she'll have a mandatory summer school class at the end of the summer before she begins her student nursing as a junior; however, it's a five-week course, leaving more than half the summer free.

    I was an RA too, and it was one of the best things I did financially during my college years.
    Yes, campuses offer lots of opportunities like that. One that a couple of my friends had back when I was in college was writing parking tickets. They agreed to work X number of hours /write X number of tickets each week, and they could choose their own hours. So if they had an hour to kill between classes, they could walk through the commuter lot and "work" for that one hour.

    Opportunities exist, but students do have to search for them.
    Your generation can be "generally annoyed" as long as mine can find your thought process a bit naive.

    You're absolutely right that school was more affordable then, but I can't agree with much else. Decades ago people took 18-hour semesters so they could graduate on time, people enrolled in time-consuming labs, classes were tough then too, and people chose challenging majors then too. The "three hours outside class" rule was oft-touted in the 80s, just as it is now -- and it is good advice. Add in that no one owned a computer, so communication and research was much less "instant". The college world isn't nearly so new and different as you believe.

    Having lived through my college years and seeing my daugther begin college, I do think she felt more pressure during the application process, and although she didn't have to worry about the money, I think most of her classmates worry about it more than my generation did -- but her overall experience doesn't seem to be more or less difficult academically than mine was. The biggest difference seems to be that technology has made a number of things much easier; registration is one example. Whereas registration for me was literally an all-day affair, and I spent the whole day standing in various lines trying to get into classes, she punches a few numbers into the computer and completes her registration in minutes. Some things are much easier these days, other things are more difficult -- but really, the stress level and the work level haven't changed all that much.

    Whether a student works or not is dependant upon a number of variables: Where he's living, his personal spending habits, his appetite (my daughter's RA told her that girls often have trouble using up all their meal plan money, whereas they guys run out of food money in November), how much his parents are willing to give him, whether he has a girlfriend . . . But I can't buy into the "it's so different now" argument.
     
  21. Princess_Meghan <3

    Princess_Meghan <3 DIS Veteran

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    I still get the same allowance my sisters get- $20 a week. I usually spend it all on gas for my car, since I'm home quite often for craft shows and such. When I'm at home, I do the same chores my sisters do to 'earn' my money.
    I also have an on campus job that pays for other expenses. My freshman year, my $20 went towards things like going out, miscellanious groceries, etc, and it was more than enough.
     

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