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Friday, February 29, 2008

Being a Target - "College the Poor Kids" Way Follow-up



All I can say is wow! Today my traffic exploded to where at 9am this morning I had my biggest day ever all ready!

This is all due to the coverage by msn's MoneyBlog on my piece "College the Poor Kids Way." It obviously stirred up strong emotions as I thought it might.

First off, regardless of your opinion thanks for visiting! I really appreciate anyone who has clicked over to see more about the blog and perhaps read a bit more. If you like what you are reading, or just what to be notified to when I might annoy you again, sign up for my RSS Feed. It is free, and if you signup using your email account you could win FruitfulTime TaskManager software with a MSRP value of $50!

Now for a quick follow-up to the posting:

Some background on me, as some believe this is driven by my background:

  • Paid for College 100% by myself, but lived with family (Aunt and Uncle). So no room and board costs
  • Parents couldn't afford support other then moral, which was great!
  • Worked at minimum wage jobs in LA - Pizza place, Music Stores etc..
  • Wife did same
  • $150k/yr+ Income - Not a brag, just some said it couldn't be done if you paid your own way
  • Just turned 39...so not a late baby boomer that doesn't care
  • Don't drive an expensive car
  • Nice house, but we can afford it. Bought our first house at 35.
  • Support our kids, play with them, at every game, every ballet show. Made decision 6 years ago that wife would stay at home to offer even more support to them
  • Kids aren't brats...most of the time :)

I think that answers most of the questions asked.

There was a ton of great input given and great arguments made on both sides of the table on whether or not kids should pay their own way through College or not. There was, for me, great middle ground pitches made on partial pay, tying it to grades, only paying for classes of an appropriate major (ie no Klingon 301!). Regardless of your personal decision, I say, do what's right for you and your kids. Even if you want to pay 100%


One thing to consider for those that were pretty adamant that I was Hitler Jr w/Cheese for not paying 100%: Where does the chain break? College only? I can make your same case for a down payment on a house. And beyond...

Even with this dip in home costs it is very tough to buy a house on a decent starting salary, say $40K in a decent sized city. A $200K house would need a $40k deposit (to be at 20%). Maybe I should do that for the kids? I want them in good housing and living at the level that they did with us. It would be even more if I wanted them to be in a bigger house more like where they live now. Not even taking about furnishing it either.

What about when they are starting subsidizing a bit of their salary? Johnny is only gonna make $40k to start, which is tough. I could supplement another $20k and make it easier on them to not get loaded into debt.

I know this thinking loses people with each step, but at some point kids have to start living their life and not just be an extension of us. Is that point 18, 22, 30?? Not sure, but it probably is different for each kid.

As I said before; Thanks for visiting and come back often!
(picture from fotosearch)

10 Comments:

Fiscal Musings said...

You're right that it has to stop at some point. Somewhere along the line we have to learn to be self-sufficient.

RacerX said...

@Fiscal - It is hard. Everyone wants the best for our kids. And whether they are 6 or 26 they are still our kids, but we won't be around forever (except for me I am immortal :) )

Thanks for the support!

minimum wage said...

How can a person afford college if they earn minimum wage, room/board and medical expenses consume almost all their income, and they cannot get financial aid?

RacerX said...

@Minimum - I don't know why they can't get student aid, but using your exact situation that you listed, other then joining the Military (if they can medically)I wouldn't know how.

Same with other life-changing expenses too, if you are supporting your parent or sibling, not from this country or other issues it is going to be hard. Not quite sure what sort of answer you are looking for.

minimum wage said...

I cannot get financial aid because I am one of those evil defaulters Reagan warned you about. (I defaulted after four rent increases in four years without any income increase; I am paying $60/mo but that is not enough to get my loans out of default.)

I'm too old to join the military and feel like I'm stuck in a lousy dead-end minimum-wage job with no way to get out.

RacerX said...

@Minimum - The worst feeling of all is the feeling of no options. Of being stuck on a perpetual wheel without end.

I hope you find your options...

minimum wage said...

Thanks, I hope I find options too.

My other spinning wheel is my housing situation, which I also hate, but can't fix because that would require more money than I'm spending now.

All I can do is simmer and seethe.

RacerX said...

Minimum - Any local outreach that can help? Given that Medical is eating up a chunk of your income, any local relief for that?

Also some community colleges will look at your income level and do severly reduced rates, or even point you to some sscolorships based on income.

My Mom did that to get through Community College the first two years.

All The Best in your search

Anonymous said...

lifelibertyandthepursuitofmoney.blogspot.com; You saved my day again.

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