My grandmother inherited money my sophomore year and contributed about $10k/year for the last two or three years of college. My grandparents didn't contribute to the other grandkids' education because, of my three first cousins, two were the children of extremely well-paid employees of a drug company (so didn't need help), and one didn't go to college (well, I think he's in community college now, at 23, but has just started, having only finished his high school work a year or so ago). The rest of the time, each of my parents were supposed to contribute $8k/year (though in reality my mom ended up covering my dad's share more than once). They also sent me monthly money for food/rent/basic living expenses, but I worked 20 hours/week after my freshman year and 40 hours/week in the summer so that I could pay for my summer living expenses and anything fun I wanted to do. Basically: my parents are the best and I am the luckiest.
@aetataureate I had no idea. I never filled out the FAFSA, also based on the little calculator that said I was ineligible for federal loans. That said, loans/grants were hard to come by at my private liberal arts college (and there were absolutely zero merit-based aid programs there), I had a big ($10k/year) scholarship from my parents' workplace, and my parents and grandparents could basically afford the rest, or at least they had me think so.
I spend about $45 at the grocery store each week (for two adults in a southern college town, one of whom does not get his lunch food from this supply), then the weekly cost of my CSA is $18, and I usually spend about $10 at the farmer's market on top of that. So my total is $73. But we also eat out embarrassingly often.
I love, love, love the last line here. (And kind of agree, being in the midst of planning one myself.) Interesting piece!
My weekend was hard. I did fun stuff, which was great, but also got the bad news that a close family friend - someone who has had a parental-ish role in my life - had died this week, and so I went back and forth between eating all the things/spending all the money/trying to forget and falling over on my bed not wanting to do anything ever again. I'm so not ready for people my parents' age, people who raised me, to be dying, and I'm really going to miss her. (Hi, Billfold comments. You are so much cheaper than therapy.) Friday I spent $3 on breakfast, $12 on lunch (estimated $8), and $6 on snacks (forgot to estimate). Saturday I spent $5 on breakfast (estimated $8), $20 on lunch (estimated $25), $38 on dinner (estimated $35), and $10 on theater snacks (estimated $10). My dude got the Star Trek tickets and I didn't need gas after all, though I will during the week sometime. Sunday I went around returning things at various stores (-$61, but generally I wouldn't count this), spending an unexpected $11 on smoothies, and then $42 at Walmart (I estimated $20, but I hadn't counted the ginormous bag of bird seed we ended up buying). Total: $137, and I estimated $147, but I do still need gas.
You guys are building my favorite website, ever, and I am so glad you're a team. Take care of yourselves: by which I mean, each of you take care of yourselves, and take care of your relationship. You matter to lots of us! My absolute worst depression was a summer when I had no set scheduled obligations (hi, grad school!). I was totally non-functional and avoided all my required responsibilities (non-scheduled but still required, as I was being paid to do research). I told my then-husband towards the end that I wished I'd had a normal job, with structure, because it would've forced me to get out of bed and do things, but he was convinced I would've been fired from it. But - my better times have been when I've needed to get up and fake being OK for a few hours most days, non-negotiably, with a threat of being fired. It's like how smiling, even if you're not happy, releases useful brain chemicals. Being forced to act like you're OK can help get you to the OK-enough point where you can do the work you need to do in order to get healthy, at least in my experience.
On Open Thread
@limenotapple That's really weird, but I guess it kind of makes sense from the company's perspective, from what you've said. How expensive is it for you? If it's truly terrible insurance and you have some extra cash, you can technically be on two plans at once and use one as your secondary plan, though that's usually not at all financially feasible. I did it for a while when I wanted to stay on my parents' plan but had to have the minimal plan through school - but at that time I paid for the school plan and my parents paid for the plan through them, which was a major luxury/privilege, I'm aware.
@Mae I wonder about this with my parents. My dad has overspent his way to a very high standard of living, and if he ever wants to retire, he'll have to downsize dramatically - but I think that will be surprisingly hard for him.
@Caitlin with a C Yes, I am terrified about the potential costs of parental care. My mother and her husband definitely have plans to take care of themselves if anything goes wrong/in retirement. My dad doesn't, is in debt, and he completely supports his husband financially. If he were suddenly unable to work, I worry that I'd be responsible for taking care of at least him, and while that's daunting enough, I worry about whether I'll be expected to take care of his husband (who does not have children), and also I absolutely positively could not give them a life at the standard they currently live at - I can't even come close to affording that for myself. This is scary to me. I wonder if there's anyone the Billfold can tap who can write about helping out parents who are used to living larger than they themselves do? Or just in general about having to support their parents, how they planned for that, etc. Mike has written some about himself, but his parents are still living independently and (if I recall correctly) still working, too.
@3jane Yeah, I am trying really hard to be fair to him - because I think he has tried to be very balanced when talking about his own situation - but his use of words like "average" made me actually gasp out loud at how out of touch he seemed, saying things like that. BUT! The Billfold is showing us a different perspective and I really value that!