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Old 07-08-2014, 12:59 PM   #21
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I think it is important for parents to communicate to their kids all along what they will and will not pay for. The kids deserve to know from the earliest possible age on. Then they know what to expect, and what to prepare for as they get older.

We decided to pay tuition, books, and $500/month while our daughter was in college, and no funding at all afterwards, plus no bouncing back to live at home. She knew this nearly from birth since we made a point of expressing our opinions of various possible arrangements. She knew that she would need a part time job in college, and she knew it was just a matter of limited money and not being able to afford any more.

She never even asked us for a penny after college. To her this arrangement seemed fair. I don't think it would have been fair at all, if she had not known what to expect.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:19 PM   #22
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My parents and I worked out an arrangement when I went away to college in the early 1980s. After the college's financial aid paid for about half of the tuition, my parents and I split 50/50 the remaining major costs - the rest of the tuition and the room & board. My share came from student loans, mostly. I was responsible for books and other day-to-day expenses. I had some savings from part-time jobs while in high school but I did get some part-time jobs in my second year of college so as not to drain those savings.

After college, I moved out upon working full-time just after graduation. But the following year (1986), I moved back home for a few months until I could find another place. I paid my parents $200 a month which was a good deal for all of us, as it did not cost them an extra $200 per month to house me and buy some food for me. I paid for all of my other expenses, from student loan payments to car insurance to monthly train ticket.

A few years later, when I bought my co-op apartment, they lended me some money for closing costs which I paid back in 7 months. I did not want to be in debt to them for very long. A few months later, now freed of that debt (the student loans got paid off a few years earlier), I began my road to investing outside of my 401k.

I should add that my mother was key to these moves, each of which helped me in some big way, from figuring out where I wanted to live, switching from renting to owning so I could stop flushing money down the drain via rent, and to investing because she pointed me toward Fidelity Investments for my first mutual fund, a tax-free bond fund so I could avoid paying taxes on my investment income. She died nearly 19 years ago at age 59 so she could never see how it all turned out for me. But she nor my dad never needed to show any tough love or pay my bills other than half of my major college expenses. I would not have let them.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:23 PM   #23
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We gave our children a 'proper upbringing', what ever that means, and paid for their college. Past that they knew they were on their own.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:29 PM   #24
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I think it is important for parents to communicate to their kids all along what they will and will not pay for. The kids deserve to know from the earliest possible age on. Then they know what to expect, and what to prepare for as they get older.
+1

Setting realistic expectations is an excellent life-skills lesson.

We made it clear to ours from a relatively young age that we would help them all we could to get a 4 (not 5 or 6) year degree at a state university. Anything beyond that would be on their dime, not ours.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:41 PM   #25
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Everyone has their own philosophy of parenting. ...

All I know is my parents made it look a hell of a lot easier than it is.

We struggle with this too. DD is doing well and financially independent. She has actually asked me for help with a savings/retirement plan to see if she is shaving enough for retirement. DS is still floundering around to find his way, but is living on his own away from home without any subsidies.

We still do things to help them out here and there, DS more thna DD, but it is not expected and very ad hoc. Like I helped DS with some car repairs recently - he offered to pay for them but I told him I would cover them since they were in many ways just repairing deferred maintenance items relating to the car we gave him last year.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:04 PM   #26
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My parents had always made it clear that my sister and I would be on our own post graduation. They did cut me loose. However, my dad continues to provide significant financial assistance to my 38-year old sister and her family - with no end in sight. So when it comes down to it, I think it's hard to say no to a struggling child.

We don't have kids on our own, so we won't face this problem. Our current struggle is with saying no to financially-challenged seniors. A tween can rough it if necessary (I know I did). But it feels wrong to expect the same from our elders.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:13 PM   #27
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Parenting is hard.
Agree, though only for one's own kids. Giving advice to others about parenting is easier, doubly so when advising one's children on their parenting skills.

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I think it is important for parents to communicate to their kids all along what they will and will not pay for. The kids deserve to know from the earliest possible age on. Then they know what to expect, and what to prepare for as they get older.
Yes, and not just with the kids. I think many of the issues we wrestle with on the forum, such as "my spouse doesn't want me to ER", or "my parents aren't managing their affairs properly" would benefit if the parties involved started talking about these things much sooner in life.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:31 PM   #28
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On my way home from HS graduation, my father told me what my room and board would be from then on. It was cheaper to move out when I started college. My parents contributed nothing to my college costs.

My kids got everything in college paid for except personal expenses and books. When they moved out of the dorms, they got a cash payment equal to the dorm with meal plan. They got to keep any scholarship money for themselves.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:45 PM   #29
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I disagree, I think that reasonable assistance during the debt elimination phase can be useful. Keeping a child on the family cell phone plan may only cost you $20 but saves the child something like $75 for their own phone (assuming Verizon Smartphone) for example.
Yeah, until it comes out in conversation (and it always seems to) that they drop $75 every Friday night at the club. Oh, and a $45 cab ride home.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #30
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When I read this article, Paying bills for adult children? Try tough love instead, I immediately thought of this thread: A question about my sister
If you're planning to apply tough-love to your Millennial kid, be aware that they'll be busy writing new "Old Economy Steve" memes about you on the internet:

Old Economy Steven: Image Gallery | Know Your Meme

Too bad they can't monetize that creativity.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:54 PM   #31
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Well my offspring just got a little financial kick in the pants. I told her last year I overfunded her 529 by about $3k and she would be able then to use it for her masters when she decided to pursue it. Well this summer she proceeds to enroll in a summer class and then decide not to take it. I noticed the bill on her account and told her to drop that class so we aren't charged for it. I then also texted her mother to remind her which she did. Well come a month later, lazy bones never got around to doing it. Her mother ratted her out by telling me she said "dad had extra money in my 529 so it's not a big deal". Well, she thought wrong. I paid that wasted expense, but I'm draining the rest of the account and spending it on myself. I don't care it the penalty fees take 80% of it. While she is a good girl that cavalier attitude towards others people money combined with slothfulness deserves a financial hit!

Love it! Do you mind sharing her response to this?
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:14 AM   #32
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My kids got everything in college paid for except personal expenses and books. When they moved out of the dorms, they got a cash payment equal to the dorm with meal plan. They got to keep any scholarship money for themselves.
I did the same thing with my kids, except I paid for their books and supplies.

I also told them that I will pay only for 4 years of college (to discourage them from shifting majors). DS did it in 4 years, DD needed more than 4 years and so DW and I loaned her the money. It still has to be repaid. As the saying goes - "if you don't want something back, lend it to your children".
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:30 AM   #33
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Well my offspring just got a little financial kick in the pants. I told her last year I overfunded her 529 by about $3k and she would be able then to use it for her masters when she decided to pursue it. Well this summer she proceeds to enroll in a summer class and then decide not to take it. I noticed the bill on her account and told her to drop that class so we aren't charged for it. I then also texted her mother to remind her which she did. Well come a month later, lazy bones never got around to doing it. Her mother ratted her out by telling me she said "dad had extra money in my 529 so it's not a big deal". Well, she thought wrong. I paid that wasted expense, but I'm draining the rest of the account and spending it on myself. I don't care it the penalty fees take 80% of it. While she is a good girl that cavalier attitude towards others people money combined with slothfulness deserves a financial hit! ....
I would be ripping mad if DD or DS did that. That's outrageous.
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:57 PM   #34
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Love it! Do you mind sharing her response to this?

I haven't said anything to her about it concerning my plans. She did apologize. Besides if some unplanned fees for this last year are needed to be paid for I will use it for that. But if not, I imagine I will say something like..."Sorry, I was irresponsible and used the money to buy a 70 inch TV!"


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Old 07-09-2014, 10:12 PM   #35
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A buddy of mine this summer had the same thing happen to him by his son, except it was 2 classes... He is not happy either...he had a classic line a few weeks ago...His son saw his and his wife's paychecks and says "Dad I didn't know we were rich". He replied to his son..."No, your mother and I are rich, you are not"
Is your friend Cliff Huxtable? I recently showed this clip to my kids (ages 10 and 7) after a discussion about household finances. They thought it was hilarious, and hopefully it gave them something to think about.

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Old 07-09-2014, 10:19 PM   #36
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Here's another Cosby show clip that I showed my kids. I was a young teen when that show first aired, and I never realized the life lessons Dr. Cosby was giving me. I guess a spoonful of sugar (or humor, in this case) really does help the medicine go down.



I agree with W2R, communication is key. We're trying to set expectations for our kids, so there won't be any financial surprises as they get older. DW and I each have a 40+ yo sibling who is sponging off living with one of our parents. We recognize that our parents are at least as much to blame as the sibs. We will not be repeating that cycle with our kids.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:54 PM   #37
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Here's another Cosby show clip that I showed my kids. I was a young teen when that show first aired, and I never realized the life lessons Dr. Cosby was giving me. I guess a spoonful of sugar (or humor, in this case) really does help the medicine go down.



I agree with W2R, communication is key. We're trying to set expectations for our kids, so there won't be any financial surprises as they get older. DW and I each have a 40+ yo sibling who is sponging off living with one of our parents. We recognize that our parents are at least as much to blame as the sibs. We will not be repeating that cycle with our kids.
Thanks for the memories! That clip is one of my all time favorites from the show.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:09 AM   #38
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Most of the comments have reflected on helping college grads that are under or unemployed. That's not where I see the problem. What I see with increasing frequency, is multi-generational households of single moms. Most often with the elder in their 60's and with a good paying job, that supports the daughter, granddaughter, and great grandchild(ren). Often the offspring have on and off menial jobs, and lead a carefree social life. One has to wonder about their future when grandma is gone. In most cases, I doubt there will be enough of an inheritance to take care of the lot of them. They'll probably end up on the government dole.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:20 AM   #39
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On my way home from HS graduation, my father told me what my room and board would be from then on. It was cheaper to move out when I started college. My parents contributed nothing to my college costs.

My kids got everything in college paid for except personal expenses and books. When they moved out of the dorms, they got a cash payment equal to the dorm with meal plan. They got to keep any scholarship money for themselves.
My father was much the same, and he didn't believe in college. He even complained when I was slacking off after high school on a 6 month delayed entry program to join the Navy. My mom would've let me hang out indefinitely, but she had no input on family finances, and it would have been a subsistence lifestyle of room and board, and constant friction with my father.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:53 AM   #40
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We paid all tuition bills - minus scholarship money - for both kids. Both worked through college. Both are out on their own. The only recurring expense we still cover for them indefinately is cellphone, for reasons others have mentioned. But if either one suddenly found themselves unemployed and unable to afford rent in this high COL area, I would offer them their old room back til they got back on their feet, no question. But I have the luxury of knowing that either one would be working as hard as they could to get another job and move out again ASAP!
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