Budget for College Books

>> Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For a brief moment, I thought my husband was dropping a bomb on me yesterday.  He started out saying, "We need to send * insert my stepdaughter's name here* money for her college books."  I knew we were going to contribute a little but wasn't expecting to pay all of it.  At a $65,000/year college, that would be so far outside our financial range, my stomach dropped.  My initial reaction was to get upset but I took a deep breath instead and asked him how much money he was thinking.  He asked me how much I was thinking and we were within $50 of each other and it is what we discussed in terms of her graduation present so no blowout.  Phew.

It's rough financially.  Our credit score is definitely wavering the last couple of years with the huge loss in hours.  In fact, it is that time of year again to check out our free credit score (and I'm dreading it).  We just can't risk our mortgage to pay thousands in college book fees; we have to keep a roof over our other childrens' heads too and put food on the table.  We've had discussions with our own four kids together about the necessity to work hard in school, get scholarships, save money at jobs when they can work, etc.  My stepkids weren't raised that way.  So as they become adults, when we thought it'd get easier, it's really not.  They still have huge expectations and we'll let them down.

Perhaps with student loans and such, my stepdaughter can be well on her way to the career she wants and establishing credit for herself.  It's too bad she didn't get a part-time job before now to start saving earlier.  It is what we expect of our own four kids together.  We have one budget that we have to maintain.  We don't keep separate budgets based on who mom is in our family.  It's very hard to raise six kids today but we manage.

I hope they all have the careers they want, however, like my husband and myself, our own four children will work very hard for their college education and have to work their way through college.  They will learn the value of a dollar, how to budget, and hopefully make good choices.  I think they'll appreciate more what they learn because honestly, I will be really surprised if my stepdaughter finishes this four-year, expensive college with the degree she is going for right now.  It is so far outside what she has ever wanted before (her boyfriend will be going into this field....that's when we started hearing she wanted to go into this field), I hope she's not wasting a whole lot of money.


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