How much money did you save when your kid left for college?

Lying in bed crunching numbers, as I find myself doing these nights, I began listing areas where we will save money when D goes to school:

  • HS fees (no tuition for us)
  • Band trips
  • Food (she eats like a sailor)
  • Piano/tuba lessons
  • Car insurance
  • Eyebrow threading (don't tell)

What other expenses won’t we see when she’s off to school? What are your weird ones?? (Only talking expenses we/you will not have any longer, not new college-related expenses)

Our utility bills went way down.

I’m looking forward to the food bill going down!

Did she pack a tweezers?

Duct tape. Actually, she’s just a junior.

Our biggest projected saving will be on music lessons (about $300 a month). She’ll be taking her car to school with her but won’t be driving much. She’s been responsible for driving herself and DS18 to and from school now we’ll need to look into getting DS18 a car (money we would be using for music lessons will turn into a car payment) so he can drive himself and DS20 to school. Money we’ll save from AP, SAT, DE, various club fees will just be spent on DS18. Any money we would be saving with one kid goes off to college will just be passed on to the next kiddo in line

@3scoutsmom bummer about the car! I’m hoping like crazy my D won’t need one. Yeah, the music lessons will be a big number, but so will food! Between the two it’s like $6k (conservatively).

our water bill dropped by half, our food by more than that…

Yeah, the car isn’t really optional for DD she plays a large instrument and hopes to get some side gigs while at college and needs a vehicle to transport her instrument. I’m pretty sure her insurance will stay the same and the parking fee at her college is about the same as her high school.

DS’s insurance OTOH has me very frightened, it’s so much more to insure a boy! Getting a car for DS18 really isn’t optional either because they attend a high school 45 minutes away (longer with heavy traffic) and no public transportation in our area.

We will save some on food but not much. My D is a light eater. I think we will save on the water bill. Water is very expensive in our area and is on a tiered system so the more water you use the higher rate you pay. I really hate this because it penalizes large families. Even though we try to conserve water as much as possible, eliminating an extra shower a day, two loads of laundry a week, and misc water use (sink, toilet, dishes) may bring our use down to the next tier. That would be a great since we’d save on the water she didn’t use and save on the amount we pay for the water we do use.

We noticed a difference in our food bill when D1 went off to college. D2 is a dancer. Between lessons and clothing we figure we can add about $3000 per year on what we can contribute to college. Add in lower water bills, less food, and frankly lower gas bills, less money for school events etc. and we may be able to add another $1000. The real savings will be when they are on their own after college…I hope:)

Like others have said:

gas and electric

The car insurance savings can vary depending on which state you live in and also by individual insurance company. In our state, we must have our college students on our policy even though they are seldom home to drive. In order to remove them from our policy, they would have to actually surrender their driver’s licenses at the department of motor vehicles in our state. We do get a slight discount for both college students because they attend a school which is more than 90 miles from our home, we also get a good student discount by providing copies of their grade reports. Check with your insurance company.

Didn’t really notice a difference when the first one left. Things might’ve even gotten worse, especially when we had to get her a car so she could get to clinicals. But when the second left…

lower utility bills (esp. water)
lower grocery bills
no handouts because she needed lunch money for a school trip
no clothing purchases
no EC purchases (they have to start handling their own post-hs)

it’s not a huge amount, but since I’m not passing out money weekly, I feel like I have a lot of cash for buying lunch at work or whatnot!

It didn’t feel like a huge difference, but saved on the following…

Club swim fees
Car Insurance (son was switched to an occasional driver)
Gas for his car
Probably did save a bit on food
Gas/electric bill went down a LOT when I unplugged the air purifier in son’s room
Didn’t save on water (he used to shower after swimming at the pool)

Our 2 kids (S and D) deferred from their highly competitive Lacrosse and Competitive Cheer teams in 11th and 9th grade respectively. That was $5,000+ per year so I think I already hit my impact savings.

Many already mentioned and…eating out…It’s so much cheaper for my H and I to eat out alone! (Of course, we probably lose that savings by eating out more than we did when the kids were around…)

I don’t think I will save anything with the amount I will have to pay for college all those minor savings will be irrelevant. Food is never a factor. When you feed 3 you can easily feed couple more.

Unless they are boys! When it is just the two of us, we may spend $50 a week on groceries. With 2 teenaged boys, make that $200 a week minimum!

@Ballerina016 - I don’t think the question is the net overall savings…I think it’s only what other bills went down. I agree, our overall costs are definitely higher! The little savings in these areas don’t cover the cost of college. But I don’t think that was the point.

I just got our first three-month water bill since D left for school. It is 24% lower. Not bad, but I was hoping for more (of course, she’s come home for three weekends, so that didn’t help). Electricity was about 20% lower than the same period the year before. I pay so much for food for her at the dining hall that I don’t even think of what I save at the grocery store without her as making a dent.