spending money in college

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
spending money in college
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?


Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 04-24-2013 - 9:04pm

Very subjective.  DS has worked year round since he was 15, now about 10-15 hours/week while in college, at a mere $8/50/hr.  It pays for his gas and fun money and his books (for him to have a stake in it); we pay for room/board and college/fees.  It seems enough for him to live on (finishing jr year).  He never manages to save much over the summer so it's up to him to manage his finances to make it through the year. 


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 04-24-2013 - 4:14pm

When I went to college, I got $40 a week from either my job or my parents.  I spent it all on alcohol, but that's another story, LOL.

DS spends *very* little money - less than $100 a month.  His college is in a small city (really not more than a large town), and his entertainment is almost all on campus and either free or very low-cost.  His food was entirely paid for so no need to supplement that.  He doesn't spend his money on drugs or alcohol, so his spending money is mostly used for the occasional off-campus entertainment, crafts, clothing, and gifts.

DD however will be going to university in NYC in the fall.  While we are paying all her school expenses, including food, and many of her entertainment expenses will be included in her education (she's a music ed major), I know her expenses are going to be much higher.  She'll be earning $1600 at her summer job, which will give her about $200 a month to spend.  In NYC that's not much.  I expect we'll supplement that by buying some of her clothes, taking her to events ourselves (we live only an hour away and are often in NYC), etc.  On the one hand, I don't want her to view us as a free trip to Disneyland, on the other, it's NYC and she should enjoy what it has to offer.  I don't want her passing up experiences because she's too afraid to spend money, as DS sometimes does.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 04-24-2013 - 2:43pm

Wonderful question Ash, I was wondering the same thing.