Cash Needs at Exeter?

<p>We're trying to figure out how much to budget for our soon-to-be-boarding son's monthly expenses at Exeter, not counting bookstore and laundry. Assuming that he's trying to be frugal but not monastic, how much should be budgeted - and in what areas, including non-bookstore things he charges with his student card? Inputs from Exeter students as well as parents will be greatly appreciated!</p>

<p>$ = ax2 - by + c where x is the degree of non-monasticity, y is the degree of frugality, c is a constant as to how much he likes cookies. So it depends on the parameters. :D</p>

<p>That's cute :) but we were really hoping to learn from the experience of others.</p>

<p>They seem to be able to get most of their necessities with their ID cards at the bookstore, or snacks at the Grill. Only time they seem to have a need for cash is on Saturday evenings. I gather that they all wander into town in big packs for dinner at one of the restaurants (pizza, Friendly's, Mexican, Chinese, Subway, McD's, ...), with maybe a stop for ice cream, or for junk food/chips/candy. Occasionally money needed for something at CVS, but they can get most anything they need on campus with ID card, or wait for our next visit. Occassionally they'll go out to a nice dinner with a date at one of the local restaurants (very pricey).</p>

<p>My daughter gets by with very little cash. She was so proud that she made $5 last three months. It depends on your kid's habits, but the school really does provide everything they need.</p>

<p>very good to hear</p>

<p>My parents give me 25 dollars a month, but I hardly use all of it.</p>

<p>exetergirl, do you charge things at the Grill or bookstore? If so, how much would you guess that adds up to? I'm planning on having my student pay for all those things that kids normally charge to their student accounts from his allowance so that he can really see how much he's spending. What do you think?</p>

<p>Some of the science books can be very expensive, so difficult to budget. Your son can put the books on his ID card, but you'll probably want to go with him to pick up his books to get some perspective on the price levels after you register and move into the dorm. Book load is a little lighter first term since the kids just have a Junior Studies binder rather than a list of books for English. The math, and the language course my son took are just copies of text put together by Exeter, so relatively inexpensive. However, binder has to last all year, so you might want to get something a little more sturdy than the paper folder issued at the bookstore. Grill food is definitely optional stuff -- candy, sodas, pastries, nacho's, burgers... Most of my son's charges are occassional sodas, or a burger when he wants real food after coming back from sports event late. Bill usually comes home about 15 days after the end of each month, so kids won't see the tally until much later. I understand why the school doesn't want kids walking around with cash, but I've never been comfortable with a debit card approach where you just swipe your card and pay later. Same experience with my older kids in college. Had to beg the bank not to issue a debit card when we set my daughter up with a checking account when she went away to college. All the vending machines, coffee shops, and laundry are all college ID/debit card based. A very slippery slope.</p>

<p>Side note: the bookstore line gets very very long. You might want to go there sooner rather than later.</p>

<p>He can (and will) charge his books. I was referring to the other things there and all those snacks at the grill. The debit he will have is prepaid so if he has spent what I have put on it for that month, he can't use it. The reason we are going the prepaid debit route is that I WANT him to see how much he is spending on stupid stuff at the grill and to know that he shouldn't expect to be able to just charge his student account and have mommy pay the bill. Not gonna happen. If he charges snacks on his student card, he will find less money than he expected being added to his debit the next month! </p>

<p>I was just curious how much students generally end up charging on that student account.</p>

<p>Do spending needs vary by school?</p>

<p>neato, I like that. It's quite a sensible, responsibility-building approach.</p>

<p>Exeter says to budget about $800 for textbooks for the year. Our first year at Exeter my daughter had money to spare out of that $800 (I include the year book in that). But her second year she went over the $800. A big chunk of that was her biology book. Science books are always very expensive.</p>

<p>But I don't let her charge anything but textbooks on her account; the yearbook is an automatic charge and they send a note home. After receiving the note you can opt out, if you don't it is automatically charged to your child's account. I forget the exact cost but it is in the $150 range. I don't let my daughter charge any food on her account including and especially the Grill. If she has cash she can use it for that but I really discourage it. The dining halls give the kids plenty of food.</p>

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The dining halls give the kids plenty of food.

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<p>Food that they may not like or will grow out of.</p>

<p>Pulsar, I don't know what it's like in your family; but in mine, you sit down to table even if you don't eat - just for the conversation. You don't have to eat if it's really unappealing to you (I don't believe in forcing people to eat) BUT, you're not getting anything else to eat just because what someone took the trouble to prepare for you is not to your liking. You also are expected to thank the person who prepared it even if you chose not to partake.</p>

<p>So, while I totally understand "picky" eaters (I'm kind of one); it is completely unreasonable to expect someone else to prepare - or in the case of BS - pay for an alternative when perfectly normal and palatable food is being offered.</p>

<p>I really don't know what you mean by "grow out of." I don't think any schools are serving Farina and pureed apricots and peas. :)</p>

<p>I meant "grow out of" = "get tired of". In the "Negatives of Boarding Schools" thread several current boarders posted that one gets tired of the routine food (even if it's good) after a while, even the non-picky ones.</p>

<p>My 9th grader last year had an average monthly bill of about $30 for incidentals from the Grill, bookstore, and other miscellaneous school charges. I also gave him $40 cash for additional spending which he mostly used for late evening pizza deliveries after returning late from away sports events. The $40 usually lasted a few weeks.</p>

<p>Exeter will send you a monthly bill from all charges used against the student's ID badge. The badge can be used at the Grill, bookstore, and for school/class items, like "Beat Andover" t-shirts, sports team gear, Class of 20XX sweatshirts, etc. The nice thing is, the charges from the Grill will have details of exact purchase, e.g., the type of candy, drink, or snack. :-)</p>