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Posts tagged with: budgeting

The Cost of College

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My other BIG financial change this fall is that Princess is going to college. And our goal is to get her through college with no debt. (My our I mean hers and mine.) We have talked about this forever!

Therefore, I am so pleased to let you all know, we officially have the first semester completely covered. The balanced owed after her Pell grants and HOPE scholarship for her tuition, fees, housing and meal plan is $3,813.

Her dad has agreed to help pay this fee, but if not, I have budgeted to be able to cover it in its entirety. (He’s also said he was buying her a car for years and we have never seen that come to fruition so I am used to this.)

According to the schools website, the year will cost about $27,000. That includes personal money, car, tuition and fees, I mean, everything. So there is definitely some flexibility based on lifestyle and life choices.

Spending Money

She will be living in a dorm, not the cheapest, but reasonable for what it is. Her food will be covered by a meal plan. But there will be living expenses AND since she won’t have a car, there may be some transportation costs.

My mom and Princess on our trip earlier this month.

After discussing with her and putting some thought into it, We have decided she will a $300 per month allowance. That is $75 per week for fun money, personal items, transportation, etc.

For the most part, this is her money that she has saved…so it’s not coming out of my pocket, I’m just helping manage it while she adjusts to the freedom. (Her savings would have covered the entire first and last semester, but her car wreck set her back almost $600 so I will kick in to make sure she has this money to rely on through the year.)

She will be responsible for anything outside of this allowance. She is going to apply for the work study program as well. And she will be able to work when she is home for weekends and holidays at her summer job as long as she gives them enough notice to put her on the schedule. (It’s nice when you work where your older brother is the manager.)

One Semester Down

I did tell her that I was committing to this for this school year only. It will be the type of thing I will need to review every year to see how much I can contribute especially since Gymnast will most likely be college bound in 2 years.

We estimate that next semester’s tuition/fees/housing will be able the same so I am add that savings to my budget for this fall.

I want her to settle in and get accustomed to college life without immediate financial stress. We have discussed how important it will be for her to work full time next summer and save, save, save.

A Different Place in Life

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It hit me hard last week. I am truly entering a new phase of life. And I don’t think I’m as prepared as I thought I was…mentally that is.

We were not able to use our kitchen for a couple of days…truly, couldn’t even walk in there while there were some repairs and fixes being done to the floors. So I decided we would eat out those days. Reasonably priced meals, maybe a picnic…

But the first night in to this “banned from the kitchen” time and I was the only one here to eat dinner. Princess and Beauty had planned their own picnic with friends. And Gymnast tagged along at the last minute. I knew this was coming. I knew with Gymnast getting his license, I would be left to my own devices more often than not.

But I wasn’t ready for it…

A Good Book & Free Appetizer

I took myself out to eat anyways. I didn’t really want to go, especially alone. But I went.

I chose Mexican because, well one, options are limited in our tiny town, especially since many places are short staffed so have opted to shutdown at night. And because, well, chips and queso, come on! I grabbed a couple of books on my way out the door, my sweater and jumped in the car full of trepidation at this being my new normal.

The meal was great! I read several chapters in each book. And I thought…this could be very expensive. I need to nip this in the bud quickly.

I don’t want to be the person who goes out every night or picks up food all the time because I’m lonely or lazy. But I’m not sure I want to constantly cook for one…

I wish cereal was a meal option for me. I could do that every night, no prep, easy clean up…alas, diabetes prevents that.

Help…any other single moms suddenly find themselves alone, with an empty table and still need to feed yourself. What do you do? Do you cook for one every night? Do you eat in front of the TV?

I’m grateful that Gymnast has two more years of high school. I won’t always be alone…yet. But it is coming. I need to prepare myself.

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