mother and son sitting on a couch talking

How much money should my college kid receive monthly?

How much money should you kids receive when in college?

Going to college is an expensive venture. While tuition expenses are given on school websites or in catalogs, the money a college student needs are difficult to determine. Pinning down annual money required for college depends on several factors, involving what one considers spending money, activities, and the geographical region where the student attends college.

Calculating Needs

One of the reasons it’s tough to determine how much your college student can require is that different people consider different things as paid for with spending money. For instance, a few people have factored the prices of textbooks and parking on campus into the price of attending school. Loans are based on this yearly needed amount. However, several parents consider things like books to be something that a student purchases during their college career, needing spending money. Textbooks are very costly with the average new book costing $80 and used versions costing $50 (costing anywhere from $200 to $500 per semester), and they are needed. Parking on campus is another hidden price of college, which can range from $400 to $2000 per year. While some cannot see a car as a necessity, college students can think otherwise. To calculate spending money precisely, you first have to agree on what buys fall into the category of spending money, and what’s simply the price of attending college.

Possible Spending Money Types

The following items can be deemed spending money for college students:

  • Clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Food 
  • Gas or public transportation
  • Cell phone
  • Activities like a soccer club, a dance class, or gym membership
  • Gifts
  • Textbooks and school supplies
  • Electronics
  • Travel allowance

A few items alter widely. For instance, if a travel allowance is involved and the student goes to school quite far from the house, the average round-trip plane ticket prices $370 per trip. Deciding if you include or not these expenses in spending money total amount is important. Once you decide which items to involve, you must estimate how much money to let for each.

Amounts for Each Type of Spending Money

While few college students require a sizable clothing allowance monthly, other students do some shopping in the summer and head to school with their wardrobe ready for the year. Similarly, few students participate in expensive activities while others don’t. While both kinds of students will require a considerable amount of money to spend, calculating a total depends on the types of activities in which they participate. Ultimately, the geographic region can heavily affect the amount of spending money a college student requirement. Necessities such as rent and groceries are more costly in big cities, but students on rural campuses will spend more on gas or public transportation than those living in the city.

What Expenses Do You Envision?

You and your family will have to decide what the spending money will cover. Will it involve prices for books and travel expenses? What about any clothes you purchase? What about the social life is it off-campus? If you are on campus in a city, you can find the prices of everything high but then you have the benefit of shopping online and having it delivered to you. 

Do you have a car on campus? Then you will have to think about parking permits, auto insurance, maintenance, and repairs, etc. Impress the parents with a budget. Some of the expenses you will want to think about involve: your phone bill, dorm furnishings and linen, food outside the meal plan, bus passes, money for laundry, entertainment money, the flight, train house, and other travel for fun, sorority dues, fraternity, electronics, toiletries, etc.

How Many Parents need to Give University Students?

You can, perhaps, request your parents to begin you off with a little cash in hand, to last unless you find a paying job. Several children start with every month allowances between $75 and $200, for books, and clothes, etc. Sometimes you will discover yourself paying out of your pocket money for things you can want in class, like equipment if you are an architecture student. These expenses can come out of your pocket money but once you have evaluated how much your expenses come to you can plan for future expenses and make your own contribution. Review the allowance with your parents after a year and make any changes that are essential. Do your parents want you to be in charge of your own savings or will you allow your parents to manage any earnings during college? These are some things to think about. If you become heavily included in non-paid activities such as student government or the school paper, and if you’re a college athlete, then you can want more help from your parents.

Agree on How Spending Money Should Be Used

If your kid qualified for scholarships or grants or took out student loans, those sources of financial help are designed to cover qualified education costs. There are strict guidelines for how that money needs to be used. Usually, the student can use their financial help to pay for tuition and fees, transportation, room, board, textbooks. More prices, like the occasional trip to the movies or a late-night coffee run, are not covered by financial help. That is why your kid will require to have small more spending money of their own. How much they’ll require depends on their location, school, and their habits. Before your child heads off to college, discuss their goals for college, their academic and social plans, and how their spending money needs to be used. For instance, if they plan to participate in intramural sports or pledge a fraternity or sorority, they’ll probably use most of their spending money on those activities.

Revisit the Spending Money Budget Once Per Year

Revisit your spending money plan of college student minimum once per year or once per semester, particularly after freshmen year of your child. You can discover that your kid’s requirements change and you have to make adjustments. Analyzing the experience of your child may help you good preparation for the upcoming semester. Review their spending together to see what their most common buying were, what problems they faced, and potential solutions to save money to improve their money management skills. For instance, if your kid spent various money at the coffee shop, it can be more price-efficient to invest in a high-quality coffee machine for the dorm room for the next semester. And, if they spent extra money than expected on groceries or dining out, you can be capable of skip the meal plan next year. If your kid spent various money on new clothes, you can talk to your kid about shopping at thrift shops, resale sites like Thread Up, or even clothing subscription sites. By having an open conversation, you can work together to decide how much-spending money for college your kid requirements and establish lifelong financial habits.

Setting Budget Expectations

Before sending your teen off to college, it’s significant to discuss the financial aspects of their campus lives. For most, this’s the 1st time they are on their own and had to strategy their budget. A student with poor budget awareness can run out of money essential to purchase books, pay tuition, or for other necessary expenses of living. Similarly, various college students can be working with credit and debit cards for the first time in their lives, and without appropriate guidance, they can exhibit poor spending control and tracking. While this can just be a bump in the road for few students, for others it can mean the difference between being capable of attending college and not.

Before Your Kid Goes to College, Discuss the Following:

  • Mother and daughter discussing college budget Teach them how to track every month spending and reconcile it to their budget.
  • Share potential budget pitfalls and talk through plans to deal with them.
  • Discuss the difference between needs and wants. Teach your kid to pay for necessities first, and then utilize the disposable income to pay for discretionary items.
  • Show them how to track debit card spending and reconcile their account every month.
  • Share your hopes with your teens about how they’ll manage their money. Don’t bail them out each time they overspend.
  • Show the kids how to build an emergency fund if something serious happens.
  • After your children go to college, continue to have budget conversations with them so you can recognize issues before they arise.

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