@kae I posted this below, but my experience with AT&T is that they want you to pay $550 less a few months to rent, but you can pay the whole price off at any time and own the phone. So if it's a 30 month installment plan with an upgrade at 24, you can run the numbers to see if you'd make more selling it, keep paying until 30 and own (or just send in a lump sum) and then sell it yourself and still be eligible for the next round. Not sure if Verizon is the same, but thought I'd share.
The cycle of "free" upgrades every two years is becoming unsustainable for big companies, so there are likely to be monthly line upgrade fees. I doubt, Ester, that you'll be able to continue on at the same contract price with just another $100 + a one-time upgrade fee. (Source: recently in an AT&T store figuring this all out. I think it would have added an extra $25 a month per line.) "Also that totals $550, and either that’s insane or I am." That's... what the phone costs? It may be insane, but that is the market price. And you've essentially been paying it, just rolled into your monthly payments. This new scheme allows you to pay in installments without any interest or anything. What they're banking on is people wanting an upgrade at the time they're eligible for the upgrade. So, say you're on AT&T Next 24, the installment plan that has you paying off the phone over 30 months but you're eligible for an upgrade at 24. To get that upgrade, though, you have to *send in your old phone.* If you wait the extra 6 months (or pay it off completely at any time), then you own the phone. The "upgrade" is basically just being eligible for the installment plan with a newer phone. I don't know the merits of Cricket, but the new At&T plan is a good deal (well, in the scheme of things) if you pay off your phone completely and sell it rather than sending it in when they suggest you do. You're just amortizing the cost rather than paying it up front (which presumably you'd have to do with a company like Cricket.)
@fletchasketch I mean, even if it's not zero interest. Doesn't matter if you pay it all off on time! I'm totally not advocating people to use credit cards without thinking about it, but I use no-fee credit cards and pay them off completely. Not only do I get rewards, but I'm not keeping a huge chunk of money in my checking account for expenses - one of my paychecks goes to CCs immediately. That means I get 1-5% back on the bulk of my spending and interest accruing in savings. And the settling up once a month (while keeping track of spending every day) is actually easier on me. ETA I realize @fletchasketch is referring to Nicole's 0% card specifically, which to me makes things even easier, but yeah I'm responding to a broader trend of "obviously using credit cards = bad." I trust you to know what works for you, Nicole! Just credit cards work for a lot of us so it's weird to see them so "worst last resort."
I was assuming the $10k would get them to a 20% down payment that wouldn't require mortgage insurance. Maybe the rest of their assets aren't liquid? I agree that this is weird and it's hard to advise without more information, but just based on what we know, I would advise the LW to say something like "I'm so grateful for the help you gave me - graduating without debt and living at home has made all the difference in setting me up for the future. I want to help out, because that's what families do, but I'm worried about that amount. It wouldn't leave me a buffer if something goes wrong, and I've seen how not having enough can spiral out of control. I'm glad you emphasized saving; I want to make sure I can live grown-up life without relying on you or needing someone to come to for support. What if I chip in [something around $2,500], which leaves me enough for finding a place and a bit of a cushion, and I also [buy groceries once a week/cook dinner a few nights a week/deep clean the house/organize the house and put on a yard sale]?" Basically, emphasizing that you don't want to be in a position where you'd need help, but trying to find a way to demonstrate more clearly--through time or what you can afford $$ contributions--that you want to help out/appreciate that they're letting you live rent free.
so much stuff this weekend let's say $10 lunch today, dinner with friend's parents (free), entertainment will be $10 cover and $10 for a cheep beer + non-alcoholic drink + tips. $5 for coffee Saturday, $20 for my share in a day of picnicking, maybe another $20 for inevitable last minute spendy groceries. $25 for my share in a birthday gift =$100 I really hope I can stay under that, but I doubt it.
@orangezest But once you get them shaped, you can maintain yourself with tweezers! Probably. It's an investment in your future. @all get your eyebrows tinted yo it's great (or not if you like them as is! but I get my pretty dark eyebrows tinted and it doesn't make them much darker at all, just fills in some spots where I have lighter hairs, and they suddenly look so full and natural and professional shaped.)
@alpacafest $2 tip? I hope that means the original cost of the outing would be ~$10!
@acid burn @amglory89 You probably know this, but just in case: if those are federal unsubsidized loans, you (likely) have a 6 month grace period after graduating before the interest capitalizes, i.e. your interest starts generating interest. May be worth to try save up to throw a chunk at your interest before that happens! (Subsidized chunk shouldn't have any accrued interest.)
Oh man - this stressed me out! Thank you for sharing. It makes me think of something I've thought before, how privilege can be intertwined with money habits. Here it seems maybe more about anxiety vs. being neurotypical, but I've thought of it in the past more in terms of typical financial advantages. If checking your bank account or CC statement isn't a terrifying thing, then it becomes a lot easier to develop healthy and proactive financial strategies when you're starting out. I didn't start out my adult life with huge debt, so it was more like a game of playing adult, even though I had to scrimp and save. I would also suggest Mint. Maybe start by only checking it on days your paycheck has cleared; watching those numbers go up can be so fun.
@HelloTheFuture But all around the country there are radio stations, often multiple stations per region!, playing solely holiday music like between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Especially in the South. They've gotta be looking for new pieces. Months of non-stop Jingle Bell Rock are hard. If you write one that is nondenominational but hits vaguely Christian warm fuzzies and it's good enough, you could have a few months of tidy little royalty checks. I guess this is more for a song you write/perform than a choral piece, but as someone who's totally ignorant, I'm very enthusiastic about the idea.