spending money in college

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
spending money in college
13
Wed, 04-24-2013 - 2:16pm

Our oldest is leaving for college in August, so we're new to the whole thing, and since it has been decades since DH and I graduated, we have no clue how much spending money she'll need to earn this summer. She doesn't have a job yet and is looking at a couple of options, including non-profits, so I have a feeling we will need to supplement, at least for the first year.

So approx how much will she need? Anyone care to give a ballpark on how much their kid spends per year?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-1999
Sat, 04-27-2013 - 12:18pm

We did not give DD any allowance.  Fortunately, she had earned several academic scholarships, and this year (freshman) we have been able to afford to pay the rest of board and tuition that wasn't covered.  We also paid books and fees.  So, she was on her own for expenses.  It mostly consisted of laundry, gas, and entertainment.  I know she went to the movies, laser tag, etc., and out to eat a bit.  But she's pretty frugal, and as far as I know, she's managed ok.  She also would get some groceries for making smoothies and chex mix.  :^)  Her meal plan covered 15 meals (swipes) per week.  Since she came home a lot first semester, that worked fine.  She didn't come home as much second semester, so she had to stretch it a bit.  Oh, there were also flex dollars, so she just had to plan when to use flex and when to use swipes.  We did fill her gas tank many of the times she came home since that was about the only time she used her car.  This semester she has a class at the zoo and is volunteering at a horse farm, so she is driving a bit more. 

As far as public transportation goes, keep in mind that many universities include riding on the local city bus system for free.  So that may not be an added expense that students experience.

She did not work during the school year, but she did work over Christmas Break, Spring Break and summer.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2003
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 6:38pm

I transferred $100 each month into DD's checking account.  She had a savings account with nearly $1000 in it when the school year began last summer.  We bought her toiletries, snacks, beverages, etc.,  when we visited, I dunno what else.  And she had a 12 meals a week plan plus several hundred extra bucks on that plan.  She got a few tattoos and piercings.  She paid for her gas (she lived on campus so we figured she shouldn't have too much expense there.  Ha! ) When I looked at the bank statement, it seemed she was always eating out. It also seemed she was always buying clothes, whch was proven to me when I did her laundry yesterday to get her ready to go back in 10 days. 

Well, to make a long story short, as the school year ended 2 days ago, her checking account is overdrawn -$6.77 and the savings account has $4.00. I calculated her spending at slightly over $200 a month. She didn't work this first year, which was fine. But now that she's acclimated, we let her know she will have to get a job to help out wth this education endeavor if she plans to keep her current spending levels. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-1999
Sat, 05-18-2013 - 9:11pm
Most kids will spend what they have. They also spend your money more easily than their own. D works summers to pay for her books (her skin in the game). Her major has expensive texts, so she needs 2K from her summer job in the bank when school starts. I have no idea what she spends per month on sundries because she earns her own money. First year, she worked 4-6 hours a week, minimum wage, and it was enough. Like others, we would take her shopping on breaks and stock up on things we knew she needed.

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