When Jennifer started college I told her I would put in a certain amount of money each money to cover her expenses and she had to budget everything and think about her purchases before she bought them. Her first year in college, she went below the set amount I told her not too ($100). I told her she had to have that amount in there at all times and any thing she needed that required her to go below had to be approved by me. Some were and some were not, meaning she didn't tell me until I checked her account. I warned her the third time that if she did it again, she would have to get a job and with her nursing college classes that was near impossible.
As she went into her second year, she budgeted much better and she was living off campus in an apartment so she was responsible for paying her rent each month which she did without fail. The lease was in her name but I co-signed, so telling her that if she forgot it was her credit and MINE that would be affected kept her on
time. She made wise choices and learned greatly about finding items on sale and if they weren't, she waited. She even started cooking meals at home instead of eating out.
Last year, her third year, she again moved to another apartment. This time she had to share expenses with 3 others and each of them were responsible for paying certain bills. I upped her monthly month to accomadate this change and nothing was in my name so I reminded her she was creating credit for herself so again, don't be late. She never was with anything. She opened an account at the bank there and deposited her Financial aid money in there. It really was my money since I paid for everything but I told her, it was for emergencies and only approved things by me. She did great. Paid for some schoool items that came up through the year as well as gas when she started her clincials. Over this summer she got a job as a Patient Care Tech at the hospital in Savannah, making very good money. She put the money in the bank, I know she spent some on herself and that is perfectly fine but she was excited that she made MONEY. A REAL JOB she said.
Ok fast forward to Aug 9th. Her neighbor backed into her car (it was parked in her driveway) and did quite a lot of damage. So we are waiting for insurance to figure out what to do. She will need a whole new backend according to all the estimates that she got. The other insurance is taking their time on this and she is without a car and classes start Monday. I called our insurance and if we pay the deductible she can get it fixed and we would get that back once the claim went through and she can even rent a car (we have to pay 20% of it) so she can get around while the car is being fixed. Super!!! Well I told her to tell me how much she had in her account so I knew how much I needed to add. She called me and was so upset - here is part of the conversation:
J - Mom, I am so upset, I feel like I have been working for nothing. I have only XXX amount in my account
Me - Where is the Aid money?
J - I had to buy books, and pay bills (she listed all legit bills)
Me: Ok I will transfer money
J- I feel like I should quit, I mean I don't even get to see my money...it isn't fair.
Me - (Laughing) Welcome to the real world Jen, it sucks. You work hard and you give your earnings to everyone else
J- yea but I don't like it
Me- Well from this point forward, make a point to automatically say you will not spend XXX of your paycheck unless it is an emergency and only allow yourself to spend XX of it.
J - Yea...but Mom, it sucks.
I couldn't help but laugh hard when I hung up. Life lessons she has heard me preach but didn't realize the impact until she was faced with it. LOL. I love the fact she is so responsible and turning into a great adult.