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Old 12-10-2014, 10:00 PM   #21
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DD also graduated with an international studies degree (although from a small liberal arts college). Her talents are in writing, editing (can you say grammar nazi?), design, music, and photography. (She told us that she was much more prepared for real world writing from her major than her English major friends.)

She had a couple of un- or barely-paid internships before she landed a job doing communications for a nonprofit a few months after graduating . After 2 years she decided to go the freelance route and is figuring it out. This week she realized she can't afford her apartment and is taking steps to "downsize" so she doesn't end up in credit card debt. Can't ask for much more in a 25-year old.

We do pay her cellphone bill and helped with health insurance the first year but she hasn't yet made $25K in a year and that works for her.

I would stick to asking her what's important to her and answering any financial questions she has and let her live her life. At least she isn't asking to move back home while she figures things out (which happened to a friend 4 years ago - her son is still basically unemployed and a mooch).


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Old 12-10-2014, 10:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
On the MMM forum, it is almost a badge of honor to have the lowest possible expenses and none of them seem to be starving. Many just keep on living like college kids, post college.

I know nothing about the OP's daughter...but just using probabilities, I'm willing to wager that she's not the type that would count herself among the MMM-types that have a badge of honor in buying lentils in bulk and walking everywhere and being proud of buying items on craigslist or the thrift store. The OP's daughter may end up having to resort to that, but the 'average' 20-something consumer would not opt for that as an ideal choice.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:04 PM   #23
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oscar1, A lot of the people on this forum worked at jobs they hated. Maybe the job will make her happy and she won't need/want to retire early. A few even live on $15,000. a year. How did she end up taking "International Studies"?
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:21 PM   #24
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I know nothing about the OP's daughter...but just using probabilities, I'm willing to wager that she's not the type that would count herself among the MMM-types that have a badge of honor in buying lentils in bulk and walking everywhere and being proud of buying items on craigslist or the thrift store. The OP's daughter may end up having to resort to that, but the 'average' 20-something consumer would not opt for that as an ideal choice.
You mean some people don't like lentils, walking and thrift store shopping? Those are some of my favorite things.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:28 PM   #25
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Let her be twenty.
I think there is great wisdom in this reply

- and of course, I always enjoy reading Ha's comments.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:57 PM   #26
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Sorry to say, but a liberal arts "International Studies" major was a waste of your money for college, if you paid for it. Even not working at Disney for $15K, double that money at $30K is not really any more than she could have been making without a college degree if she applied herself for 4 years at any type of company. All I can say is don't keep supporting her bad decisions and maybe reality will make her wise up. $15K is essentially minimum wage. I earned more than minimum wage even while in high school, not a lot more, but did this without even a high school diploma at the time.

Yes, I am a hardass and not sympathetic for anyone that does not get a degree with some real world value. International studies is one example of those without value.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:31 PM   #27
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Oscar1 - I think you are catastrophizing this situation more than you need to. This is her first job out of college. It doesn't doom her to low paying jobs for the entirety of her career.

I would focus on seeing if you could go over budget with her and help her to figure out a way to make it work if she goes down that path (a key factor is probably going to be a roommate). She may well try this and find out she doesn't like living on $15k a year. And, she may leave the job or work hard to progress to a higher paid job. Or perhaps she will love it and be happy with it.

The main thing is that she has to live this and support herself without you making up the difference.

My oldest son quit college after his first semester. I had no problem with him choosing not to get a bachelor's degree but thought he would be better off going to CC and going through a career oriented program. But, he didn't want to.

He did have a few rough years, making very little. I know there was a time when he lived in his car a few weeks and he stayed with a friend for months one time. We mostly let him handle it (we did help him with a vehicle when his died). And, yet, 4 years later it seems to have worked out and he has a good job now. He did it his way and he is happy with it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:02 AM   #28
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Man! I need y'all's advice. Daughter graduates from Texas A&M in International Studies and is seriously considering hourly position at Disney over salaried positions elsewhere where better pay, benefits, 401k, etc could be had. We are talking about $15k per year vs. $45k per year for entry level position. That's a $350,000 delta over 30 years. I can't get her to realize the impact this decision will make on her life, her family, early retirement, etc.? I am freaking out! Any advice anyone can offer??!


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Any advice? Well.

1) Try the math arithmetic again. 45-15 = 30. 30K*30 years is 900K, not 350K
2) 15K is better than 0K. Has she had $45K offers or are you estimating?
3) The impact of this decision will be on her life. She has to make it. If she doesn't like the result she can change jobs.
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Dad of New Liberal Arts (International Studies) Grad - Need Advice - Daughter...
Old 12-11-2014, 01:25 AM   #29
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Dad of New Liberal Arts (International Studies) Grad - Need Advice - Daughter...

I think you simply need to chill and try to understand the real reasons why she wants to do this:
Is there a romance involved?
Is she scared of a career path ?
Does she want to hang on to the college feeling longer?
Is she Peter Pan? (Don't want to grow up)
Does she want to work in tourism/hospitality and she sees this as a good way in?
Etc

Set boundaries around what you will continue to do for her and then let her experiment. Show your strong support and love but don't let that translate into being the bankroll.


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Old 12-11-2014, 06:28 AM   #30
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We used to call this "sowing wild oats". Not to worrry.

"It's a phase you generally get out of your way when you're young or perhaps after a breakup, but it's not a long-term lifestyle (or if it is, it stops going by that name at some point"
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:46 AM   #31
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This blog never fails to exceed its value with incredible people like you all providing expert advice. The budget drill is great advice because she is already familiar with Dad's exposure to this important concept on several occasions. I also very much needed to hear many of you say; "let her be 20". I did have my math wrong (think I intended 10 years with some compounding). Great feedback and I appreciate everyone helping point me straight.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:53 AM   #32
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I wanted to work for Disney and I would have accepted a modest pay cut to work there.
I think it looks fine on a resume for somebody with International Studies degree, Disney is truly international brand and I would guess virtually any job in the company would have international aspect to it.

That said $15K is barely over the poverty line and I think it is perfectly fine as Dad to point that "I've been poor and I've been middle/upper middle class/rich more money is better."

A little more details about the jobs would help us give you better advices.

What is the Disney job? is it full time (a min wage jobs would be $15K a year) so maybe its part time.

These 45K/year jobs does she have one more offers, or are this potential jobs.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:31 AM   #33
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Let her be twenty.
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
I think there is great wisdom in this reply

- and of course, I always enjoy reading Ha's comments.
I wish I had a positive motivator from birth to probably my mid to late 20s. I had to learn the slow hard way. Now in my early thirties I feel like the wise one to my elders.

My child will not escape the indoctrination of my financial knowledge.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:43 AM   #34
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Most of you are trying to apply logic and analysis to a person who is clearly not interested in a logical decision. She is still operating with the college mentality where she is sheltered from the realities of life. Does she have student loans? Does she consider the "Bank of Mom and Dad" to be open to her all the time? It's OK to be a safety net but you don't want that to turn into a hammock.


But that's not what I was going to say.


Now she has two offers on the table, one for $15K and one for $45K. She is starting as a college graduate with a clean slate and no employment history. That's the way that offers come when you are new to the job market. If she takes the $15K job and decides to then go after a $45K job she won't be doing it as a college graduate. She will be doing it as someone already in the workforce. When she tells her prospective employer that she is currently making $15K she will either disqualify herself or will get an offer of $30K to $35K if she is lucky.

This is the voice of experience talking. When I graduated from college the only position I could get with my degree in Computer Science was at a low salary at the school where I graduated. That kept my earnings depressed from 1973 to 1978 at which time my salary finally got to where it belonged. I figure that cost me about $20K over that period of time which isn't so much now but back then it was huge.
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:25 AM   #35
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Anything about the Disney job that might be a foot-in-the-door for a better promotion down the road? Maybe that's her motivation.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:44 AM   #36
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My daughter has a liberal arts degree. Her specialization is theater lighting. She has been working for about 2 1/2 years. She puts in long hours and loves her work. She makes somewhat less than $30,000 a year and has a year's expenses saved plus she contributes to an IRA. She and a coworker put on a pregame light show at the local arena that was shown on the local news. Quite a few of the kids she went to college with went to Disney to work. For them, it is a good resume builder. Success is in the eyes of the beholder.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #37
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My child will not escape the indoctrination of my financial knowledge.
Be careful not to overdo the indoctrination or you might scare your child off, and end up causing an opposite result to the one you want!

The reason I agreed with what may appear to have been such a laissez-faire answer from dallas27 is that, as I stated, I think there was wisdom in his answer. It is obvious that oscar1 is at least fairly sensible about money issues as well as being concerned about his daughter's financial future. By the time she went off to college, the parenting "groundwork" would already have been laid. At that age, you can have a conversation with your kids, but to whatever extent they are set on following their path, they will follow it.

Also, as other posts have mentioned, there may well be good, solid reasons why she should take a lower paying job, such as resume building, or relevant experience. In the absence of specific information, board members have been attempting to fill in the gaps.

As far as your intended indoctrination goes, you may not need to take such draconian measures, as kids are very good at following by example - or rebelling against the example set for them, depending on what other factors are in play
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:23 PM   #38
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I can't get her to realize the impact this decision will make on her life, her family, early retirement, etc.? I am freaking out! Any advice anyone can offer??!
Did she ask for your advice or was she just letting you know her situation and intentions?
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #39
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Ran across this tidbit and thought it was interesting.

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As a large research university, Texas A&M boasts more than 120 degree programs for students to choose from. Its College of Liberal Arts—having secured the final spot on our list—even has the highest four-year graduation rate of all the Texas A&M colleges. Top-notch students stand to earn about $42,823 per year at their first jobs.
15 Colleges with the Highest Salaries for Liberal Arts Grads - NerdScholar
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:09 PM   #40
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Now she has two offers on the table, one for $15K and one for $45K. She is starting as a college graduate with a clean slate and no employment history. That's the way that offers come when you are new to the job market. If she takes the $15K job and decides to then go after a $45K job she won't be doing it as a college graduate. She will be doing it as someone already in the workforce. When she tells her prospective employer that she is currently making $15K she will either disqualify herself or will get an offer of $30K to $35K if she is lucky.
^^^ This.

It's not JUST "$15k vs $45k" in this job....but EVERY job down the road. One can make a change with a significant increase in salary - but in both this economy as well as past job history, that's the EXCEPTION, not the rule!

It's true that she'll have at least some job experience under her belt - but so will all of the other people applying for that job! Far better to be a fresh new grad with just 1-2 years experience at the other job at a higher salary vs having "Dressed up as Donald Duck at Disney world for 2 years at $8/hr". It's true that some people have had to resort to a myriad of jobs outside their major in this economy, but when she does go for that job paying $45k next, she'll be competing against many others. And, like it or not, I would expect more than just a few hiring managers looking at a minimum wage job at anywhere on a resume and think less of someone compared to a fresh grad straight out of college. Subconsciously or not, the implication is that she couldn't find any other job given her talents, even if it's not the case. Plus, they might also think "Ah, she took a min. wage job at Disney", and also might question her maturity level. Not saying that she's immature, but the implication to a few managers (in the "old school" mindset) might be "she doesn't have any business sense, and is just looking for anything that sounds "fun", rather than making the company money".
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