College Allowence

<p>My daughter will be attending UCSB this fall. I am wondering how much I should be giving her weekly/ monthly. She has a 10 meal/ week plan. I will not allow her to work AT LEAST he first quarter, as she will need to get adjusted to the whole college experience. Also, she has been working ince she was 16 and does have a good work ethic.</p>

<p>How much should I be giving her?</p>

<p>i think 50-60 dollars a week is pretty decent if she has her own savings... she has a 10/week plan so she'll have to make up some of her meals somewhere. Plus there's money for going out to movies, buying random stuff etc...</p>

<p>actually, now that i think about it she's probably goign to have get a bit more since she only has 10 meals.</p>

<p>i think the best plan would be to have her live there for a week or two and then tell youhow much she needs.</p>

<p>There's another thread on this somewhere...</p>

<p>$50-60 per week sounds very high to me, but then I guess she does have to buy some meals. I'm also kind of cheap.</p>

<p>I would suggest making a Costco run to get her dorm-friendly food so that she doesn't always have to eat out. Grocery shopping is a pain, but restaurants are expensive and cafeteria food gets old. </p>

<p>Maybe see what she thinks she needs to spend and adjust from there? Talk to her about how much she's spending and on what.</p>

<p>I wish i got 50 a week. My parents want me to pay for everything (Just living expenses cause rest is scholarship) and then pay me back with their income tax return money in Feb. I can live with that though.</p>

<p>Obviously, a lot depends on what you can afford and what you want to pay for. If you're paying for her other 10 meals per week, her cell, any clothing (not wardrobe shopping, but replacements as need be), etc., then I think $300/month or so would not be unreasonable. </p>

<p>Encourage her to use her 10 meals for lunch/dinner; she can eat bagels and cereal in her room. Nevertheless, she'll still need lunch and maybe a few dinners. I place a high premium on being able to eat well. It is not worth it to pay $40,000/year and not have your child eat well. College students have a host of bad health habits - please ensure that you are giving your D enough money so that she can get 20 balanced meals every week. </p>

<p>Start off with the expenses that you are certainly paying for - ex. cell, prescription meds, monthly train ticket home, etc. Then add on money for food, incidentals, laundry, etc. You can always give her a lot to start off with, tell her to save every receipt, and let you know what she spends it on.</p>

<p>Wow.</p>

<p>For starters, unless you have a very dedicated eater most college kids (and this is from personal experience) will eat between 15-17 meals a week. The breakfast-lunch-dinner routine is not as well ingrained in college due to sleep schedules, variable daily schedules and in my case, sleeping in.</p>

<p>As for cash, if she has her own savings, the only money you should be providing is for food and books. I received maybe $100-150 dollars a semester from my parents. You simply don't ahve that many expenses while you're in school if all your other needs are taken care of (cell phone bill, tuition, etc..). Once she gets even a minimum wage part-time job (I only worked 9-12 hours a week at school), then only occasionally provide cash. Maybe help out with spring break or winter break trips. As for a regular allowence though? No way.</p>

<p>i think she should feel it out. I know when I had a meal plan I only used like 5 meals a week. (Talk about a waste of money). i never eat breakfast and i normally would grab a sandwich for a dollar and take it with me to class for lunch, and i'd occasionaly eat dinner in the cafeteria but sometimes i'd just make something in my room or order pizza.</p>

<p>The OP has already said that she is not going to want the D to work at first and that savings will not be factored in here so the issue of allowance versus savings is not really relevant here. Her question is really how much is reasonable to spend, regardless of where the money is coming from! </p>

<p>If money is an object, you can always set a budget that you think is reasonable and then adjust somewhat if you need to. If you are not tied to a particular budget then as ariesathena suggests you can try to get a better sense for this once your D is at school by depositing a lump sum, following expenditures for a month or two, determining if they are reasonable (too high or too low) and adjusting accordingly.</p>

<p>It seems to be true that kids will end up spending more if the school is in or near a city and their friends are the type to go into the city for entertainment, food etc. What your child may want to spend may also depend on who her friends are - are they all on budgets or not at all, for example ? </p>

<p>On the other hand, at a more isolated school, kids tend to spend far less, since they tend to stay on campus, take advantage of free on campus events and eat all meals in the dining halls. I have a friend who has one kid who goes to a big city school and a second who is at a rural LAC. The first kid spends <em>significantly</em> more than the the second one and this is the kid she says she thought was <em>less</em> likely to do so! Incidentally, these differences are something that some take into account when they are considering the "real costs" at a given place.</p>

<p>Realistically, I would say that in your D's case at UCSB, you will find kids with spending budgets that are all over the map from modest to generous.</p>

<p>Roshke, definitely agree..they will be all over the place. I am concerned that some posters here aren't familiar with the area. I live near UCSB and California is expensive! Pizza is expensive, movies are expensive, etc. I am not the best one to give advice on this subject because we told our son ahead of time that his summer job savings from the previous years were what he had to spend this year. He took half the account and put it in a local account at his college. He gets the other half out of our local bank at Christmas. How he spends between now and then is up to him. He may be broke by Thanksgiving but if so that will be his problem.<br>
I'd say to the OP, give her what you feel comfortable with and she will manage just fine on whatever that amount is.</p>

<p>I have a tapeworm. If the OP were my parents, I would say to budget for about 30 meals per week. Freshman year, I ate every meal (20/week) and lost weight pretty quickly. Soph year, I got smart and started making trips to the grocery store for a fourth meal to eat in my room.</p>

<p>hmm well lets see - this year i have 100 meals a semester - so like 6 meals a week - which i usually jsut grab lunch. my parents give me about 1400 a month - which about half goes towards rent/utilities. the rest is for whatever. I can either eat 700 a month, i can do 700 of drugs a month, or a combination of the both! If i need/want anything after that generally it just depends on what it is. for example, my parents gave me $100 to rent a tux for formal last year.</p>

<p>$700/month (I'm leaving out the other $700 you use for rent/utilities) is the biggest number I have seen so far for any college allowance. By a mile. Makes no sense to me at all.</p>

<p>lolo-
Have you tried posting this on the UCSB forum? You might get more accurate info (absolutley no offense intended toward the helpful folks here!)</p>

<p>Well, $700 in some cities may not be a lot. For example, a student in DC who has a car, needs to insure it, and needs to eat 15 meals a week would not be living very high on $700/month.</p>

<p>not counting money towards rent when i had my apt, i spent about 330 between car payments, insurance, and my cell phone.. plus then whatever on gas, whatever on food(no meal plan), and then whatever my other 'entertainment' expenses were for the month.. so i probably spent about 400-500/month. but that seems to be high for most people because most people don't buy new cars during their senior year of college, and if they do (from what i'm gathering on these forums) most kids don't pay for them... as well as insurance, so i don't see any need to give your kid that much money.</p>

<p>back when i lived in the dorms, i worked part time and made about 50-60 dollars per week, which was enough to cover my insurance (boy was insurance cheaper with my old car - haha), cell phone, gas, and food (i had a meal plan but like i said didn't use it very much, and whatever entertainment expenses i had for the month.. so that's about 200-240.</p>

<p>I'm in college, life off campus with no food plan in a semi-rural area: I spend average of $200 on groceries/bottled water/soda a month (I like fresh, vegetarian food) and $50-100 on eating out. I could cut down if needed, but don't spend a lot on stuff that most college students buy: books, DVDs, and music. Those three are where A LOT of money goes. Ask any college student how many DVDs they have...</p>

<p>Also have a car payment, rent, gas, clothes, books, and misc stuff, so I spend over $1,000 a month. Even working 15 hours a week during the year and 35 over summer I need a lot of help from parents.</p>

<p>Living on campus with 10 meals a week gives her 11 plus snacks to need to buy. She'll probably want at least $100 or 150/month for spending money (laundry, going out to movies, buying a gift, toiletries). If you budget about $150/month for the remaining meals it's about $3.50/meal. She'd be able to buy groceries for some, or go out for some. That may be a good starting point. I see she's at UCSB so you may have to add some for extra cost of living though, but $300 or more into an account per month may be a good start. What about asking her to keep a budget of what she spends all the money on? I do this for all my expenses and it really helps to see where the money goes each month--I have categories for food, entertainment, etc.</p>

<p>It really depends on the meal situation. I assume that the 10 meal plan is for lunch and dinner, Mon-Fri. If she doesnt eat breakfast and can eat a late dinner, that means that she has to pay for weekend meals. If she were like my son and did the Raman+(raman+tomatoes, scrambled eggs, etc) cuisine, she could perhaps squeak by with $10/weekend. If she wanted to use campus dining/local fast food joints, the tally would be perhaps $20-$30/weekend sans breakfast.</p>

<p>Many students can get by with $25/wk for laundry, snacks, campus entertainment, personal items, and a few small purchases. Others feel they need to go to cineplexes, off campus concerts, a few weekend road trips, mall shopping in which case skies the limit.</p>

<p>In your case, it is likely that $50-$60/week will be necessary if she is reasonably thrifty and skips breakfast most days.</p>

<p>jmmom,</p>

<p>as i said before, i only get roughly 5 or 6 meals a week from my meal plan. so i do have to eat dinner every day, and i have to get 3-4 meals on the weekend. So I'm basicly paying for about 32 - 34 meals a month. So like say $9 a meal, thats around $300. Hmm, I guess I spend a lot on beer and such. Laundry is about $20 a week - so thats like another $100. Oh well, I guess I'm spoiled :-/.</p>

<p>Wow. I got $115 a month in 1975 and it was not enough. I'm not saying what I give my son but it's enough to allow him to eat in a cheap restaurant meal once or twice a week, do his laundry, buy supplies, see a movie or a concert once a week, get transportation, order in a pizza if he's missed the cafeteria times or is up late studying and buy phone cards to call home ;). I don't want him to live in that fabulous city and see nothing. </p>

<p>Among his friends at university, my son is on the low end of allowances--even though his is much higher than what is usually suggested on CC.</p>

<p>lolo, list out all the possible expenses along with a budget for each expense, then give her what you can afford to give her. 10 meals out of a possible 21 seems meager to me, especially if you want the child to stay healthy and sociable.</p>

<p>We must be cheapskates. D gets around $75 a month "allowance" (from money she has earned over the last 4 years. She gets an "extra" $52 a month from work study.</p>

<p>So far, so good. But she's amazing at budgeting.</p>

<p>Note: her school meal plan is all inclusive, so she eats well. And laundry is paid through a card, which we loaded with $100, it also works for the student store & a cafe.</p>