right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

How to budget summer earnings

doloresstdoloresst 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
DS (now a sophomore) will have made about $8500 in summer money. We talked about how to divvy up this money and I suggested 1/3 each for paying down college loans, long term savings, and spending money. He balked at the spending money amount thinking it is not enough. It is his money to do with what he wants but am I off in my suggestions? Should he just be able to use it all for spending money? We cover ALL of his needs (tuition (except for the small Stafford loans for "skin in the game"), room and board, books, transportation, laundry, toiletries, haircuts, cell phone, insurance, necessary clothing, etc). He would like to work during the school year but he is on a small campus with few/no jobs available for those not on work study and no car for off campus jobs.

edited to add: I posted this in another forum but thought I'd get a better response here
11 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: How to budget summer earnings

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3345 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, since you asked, I think the 1/3 for long term savings is too much. Saving for a tangible future need like a security deposit on an apartment once he graduates is useful, but that is not likely to be s third. So my opinion is more spending money, less future saving ( given that he is already saving for loan repayments.)
    · Reply · Share
  • happymomof1happymomof1 29606 replies173 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Depending on the kind of job he had, 1/3 into long-ish term savings until tax day has passed in April would be a good thing. Happykid's work was primarily free-lance. Stashing 1/3 of it just about covered it.

    But frankly, this amount of money could well be his "skin in the game" for the coming college year. Does he even need to borrow a student loan this year? Instead of paying down part of last year's loan and taking on a new one, wouldn't it make better sense for him to just not have to borrow at all or to be able to borrow significantly less than this year's maximum?

    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7000 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We've started already laying down some suggestions to our D.. Her co-op does a company match for 401K so we've already advised her to max that out. Beyond that, she knows she's on her own after college and will need to have $ for security deposits, moving expenses, and furniture. She's responsible for all her own incidentals, hair cuts, toiletries, etc and her books. I don't think she spent more than $2k last year total so I definitely don't think it's unreasonable to suggest 1/3 to spending since you are covering so much already.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 74357 replies3254 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We gave our kids suggestions about their earnings...but the fact was..it was money they earned, and we didn’t really mandate they do anything with it except pay for their own discretionary spending and books while in college.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77784 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A frugal person would allocate as much as possible to debt reduction (or avoiding new debt) and/or savings/investment (depending on liquidity needs, interest rates, etc.).

    A spendy person would spend it all until s/he runs out of money.
    · Reply · Share
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5616 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would ask your son what he expects to need money for in the coming year. Spring break travel with friends? Fraternity dues? X dollars a week to eat/go out? X dollars for a few wardrobe updates? Let him work that through. In particular, if he's had a year of feeling like he had to say no to a lot of opportunities with friends because he couldn't afford them, having a war chest could seem very attractive.

    He can also assess his costs against how many hours of work each represents. Several young people (including my own!) have a much easier time valuing things in this context. "Lunch at the deli costs about what I take home for two hours of work. I can make a sandwich!"

    You can also help him think through what his post college obligations may be, from loans to security deposits.

    It may be that if he is thoroughly informed AND thoughtful in his planning, the uses for this money will make more sense to both of you. It sounds like his reaction is a gut one to your distribution being wrong for him.

    It is his money, though, and unless you had an explicit agreement about his financial obligations, it's not fair for you to impose them now (which could be what this feels like.)

    Congratulations to him. That's a nice haul for a summer.

    · Reply · Share
  • cshell2cshell2 439 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    I didn't tell my son what to do with the money he earned at his job, in fact I refused to even when he asked explicitly Instead I talked him through his goals and reminded him he would be responsible for all his personal spending in college ( starts Fall 2020). I then helped him figure out what we be a good dollar amount to have going into his freshman year and after that it was just simple math on what he needed to save to get there.
    He decided saving half his earnings would be sufficient and he transfers it immediately on payday to a CD that makes it inaccessible until next Summer.

    I have no idea what he does with the other 50%. Gas, fast food, and computer/gaming stuff is my guess. I'm a huge long term savings advocate but I'm not going to push the IRA on him in high school while he's saving 50% for college.
    · Reply · Share
  • Ballerina016Ballerina016 1613 replies69 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    DD had well paying internships every year since she started college. All funds were invested in non retirement accounts since young professionals have more important purchases first years after college. She just received a full time offer and knows that she will be moving to an extremely high cost of living area after graduation a year from now. Not investing in retirement accounts early seams to be a right decision since her future employer has a very generous 401k match program were they match fifty cents on every dollar. She plans to fund her 401k to the maximum allowed amount to take full advantage of this option and to reduce taxes.
    · Reply · Share
  • doschicosdoschicos 20883 replies217 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Pay off student loans first, then put in a Roth IRA if any left over after taking out about $250-300 per month for the next 9 months of fun money (unless he finds a school year part-time job then I'd reduce that).
    · Reply · Share
  • KLSDKLSD 253 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Consider reducing loan amounts. Our students are responsible for personal expenses, books and food except for freshman meal plan. They use $$ from summer internships and semester research jobs.

    Because they pay as they go, they will be debt free at graduation with some life experience at managing their own finances.
    · Reply · Share
  • doloresstdoloresst 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I'll encourage him to pay off his loans as much as he feels he can and the rest is for him to decide.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity