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Teenagers So many parents of teens have said "just you wait!" But why? What are your thoughts on teens today?

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Old 08-09-2006, 02:22 PM
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sending the oldest to college

Hi, everyone. Me and my wife are sending our oldest daughter to college in a few weeks. She has been good about getting a few scholarships, and she’ll do some work-study programs as well, and she’s even agreed to get a job with more hours if she needs more money. As you can tell, we don’t have a lot of $ for college, but we do want to be supportive (she would be the first in our family to graduate college) and are thinking about giving her a monthly allowance. We have three other kids at home so we can’t be too generous and we want her to learn responsibility. Also, we want to figure out how she can save money, like in the way of cheap daily living. I’ve seen kids blow through lots and lots of cash in college and we don’t want her to end up like that. Your thoughts?
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:32 PM
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It sounds like you are on the right track just now.

My parents helped me in a similar way to what you are describing; 20 years ago I had to manage to feed & entertain myself on $25 a week. Here's how we made it work.

I got a checking account with an ATM card, and got 2 cards (joint account with my dad). Each week Dad would deposit $25 into my account. I could take it out as I needed it. Any other money in my account was what I had earned on jobs, and was to be used for books, or emergencies, or the occasional plane ticket home. I made it through college and graduate school "cash only"--no credit cards. Today, I might say to get her a Debit card, because if she wants to buy a plane ticket or her books online, she needs something. That was not an option for me at the time.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:00 PM
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When I was in college I was also on a pretty tight budget. There were scholarships, but never enough of them, so I always had a part-time job (full-time in the summers), and I ended up taking out some loans. My parents also gave me an allowance, but I must say the things that were most helpful were those gift cards that paid for the small expenses -- rental cards for Hollywood Video, OneSuite cards for phone calls, gift cards to places like the Olive Garden. It's really the accumulation of those small things that ends up making people struggle. All in all, though, struggling isn't too bad. It's part of the larger education you get in college.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:10 AM
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Bonnie is absolutely right! I learned a lot, especially during the 2 years when I did not live in a dorm, about living frugally, and about "wants" vs. "needs." I learned to be creative and resourceful. I learned how many hours I could work without it affecting my studies. I wouldn't trade in that experience for anything. If I had a car, and unlimited money, during that time, I think I would have been a lot less focused on what I was SUPPOSED to be doing.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:56 PM
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Henries, I agree with Barb, give her a small weekly allowance so that if she does blow it, she'll only have a small amount and only days to learn her lesson before she has more money with which to survive.

I am also a full-time college student, but old enough to be her mother. But, I do know that some businesses offer discounts to college students if they show their college ID. You might check into that to save her money. Inquire as to whether or not the school has a packette of information for new students. The packette might have some coupons and such. My university has a food court that has some deals. If she is going to eat out anyway, this might be another option. I never go to mine, but if I were, it would offer a card, like a credit card, in which you put in a certain amount of $ and use it until you use up the money. You could put money on something like that each week for eating. Those food places usually have places to put laptops as well as university computers so she can eat, drink, and do her school work.

I love the ideas of the others!

I wish your DD and your family well.
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:22 AM
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Congratulations on your daughter's acceptance to college! She sounds very responsible and you must be very proud. My dd is in her second year at college, and my son is finishing his BA this year. I like the suggestions that the other FC members have made. A weekly allowance is a great idea. Both of my children are fairly careful with money, so it wasn't too much of an issue. I made sure each child had a credit card for emergencies. I would hate to think that a young girl (or son for that matter) could find themselves stranded with a broken car or in the midst of a major catastrophe (i.e. earthquake/flood/etc.) without any means of getting help. If my kids wanted to use the credit card for a non-emergency purchase, they had to call me for my approval first.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:01 AM
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My daughter started college last fall. What we did with her is, any money she earned from her summer job was put into her savings account except for $25 a week which we let her keep for spending. Then when she left for college, whatever money she had in her account was her spending money for the year. She had to learn to budget that money out to make it last (figure out how much she could spend a week or if she went over budget, how she could cut back the next week etc.) I did send her care packages of food and did add money to her laundry card for her but other than that, she had to take care of her own finances. So far she has done well. We are doing the same thing again this year.
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