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94

Some folks have touched on this, but I wanted to make sure I emphasize this. Getting a college degree does not require going into massive debt. In fact it doesn't require debt at all. Here are some options (this is US-focused): Get your core classes out of the way at a community college. Community colleges are a significantly cheaper way to earn college ...


85

You really have only three options (leaving out somehow legally forcing them to pay, about which I know nothing). I'm also assuming you're in the US. Somehow get enough in scholarships and grants to pay for your tuition and living expenses. Take out loans, which as you say may put you deeply in debt. Put off college for a while, and work until you have ...


80

You should invest in that with the best possible outcome. Right now that is in yourself. Your greatest wealth building tool, at this point, is your future income. As such anything you can do to increase your earnings potential. For some that might mean getting an engineering degree, for others it might mean starting a small business. For some it is both ...


54

It seems everyone has left one conspicuous option unspoken: Don't go to college. Let me be clear. I am not saying you should not go to college, but it is important to remember that not going to college is a viable option. There are many many well-paying jobs out there that do not require a college degree. The important thing to remember when preparing for ...


41

Here are the risks involved with student loans: They are very difficult to get discharged in a bankruptcy - the only way you can get rid of them is through death or disability (there are forgiveness programs but they are designed for people that can't pay them back, which means you shouldn't have taken a loan in the first place) They encourage you to spend ...


37

In my opinion, your idea is bad and your husband's idea far worse. You need to find a way to live within your means, that is spend no more than 84K/year. That could be done in a few ways: You get that higher paying job now (I assume around 75K). He drops out. Is a doctorate necessary to make 75K/year? Spare jobs like the tutoring and other things. Some ...


36

Frugality When someone mentions living frugally, I always point to the book "America's Cheapest Family". I'm not affiliated with this book in any way and do not gain anything from promoting it. I'm just another happy customer. As much as you are already doing to curb spending, this book may give you some extra pointers or suggestions to help you out. ...


30

Divorce records are public. Go to the county Clerk's office and read through all the documents (Divorce Decree, Property Settlement, etc). It'll be depressing, but that'll show how much your father is sending to your mother. Note that both sides might be telling the truth. Depending on where you live, housing expenses can be shockingly high, and teens -- ...


26

For FAFSA purposes, your financial information is required regardless if you claim her or don't. In the federal government’s eyes, parents are responsible for their children’s’ education, regardless of whether or not the parents can actually pay. The following are the only ways she can be a independent student and not include parental information on the ...


21

First, it's clear from your story that you very likely should be able to receive some financial aid. That may be in the form of loans or, better, grants in which you just get free money to attend college. For example, a Pell grant. You won't get all you'd need for a free ride this way, but you can really make a dent in what you'd pay. The college may ...


21

While your husband's basic premise that debt is reasonable to secure higher earning potential, not all debt is created equal. For example, mortgage debt may be reasonable because the interest paid is a substitute for rent expenses, and the interest rate is very low. This assumes you are not buying more house than you can afford. Student loan rates vary ...


21

My wife and I have six children who are in college or have graduated. So far, with almost no financial help from us, they have earned 4 Bachelors degrees, a Masters degree, and an Associates degree (with a Bachelors degree and a PhD in progress). On their own, they covered the cost of housing, living expenses, tuition, books, and fees. The only thing we ...


20

This may or may not answer the question, but is far too long for a comment. Many people's parents do not pay their children's tuition in full in the US. I'm writing this as if your parents will not be contributing a significant amount. If you can convince them to do so, bully for you. This doesn't have to wreck your life (unless you foolishly let it). Your ...


20

With that close an age gap it would probably make sense to use separate 529s. Technically you can transfer funds and even change the beneficiary from one sibling to another, but if both are in college at the same time you would probably want to let both of them use 529 money at the same time. Also, with multiple accounts you have more flexibility over the ...


18

Plus you already have money in a 529 plan that is meant for college expenses (and cannot be used to pay student loans) - use that money for what it's for. I disagree with @DStanley, as a current college student I would say to take out loans. Most of the time I am against loans though. So WHY? There are very few times you will receive loans at 0% interest (...


18

This statement My attitude has always been that I prefer to live frugally and within our means both because it is a good habit and because I have always been very afraid of debt. and this statement little savings, and our income does not cover our expenses (with a several hundred dollar shortfall monthly). Are diametrically opposed. Both of these ...


16

Yes, you can pay $50-$60/week Sure, pay $20/day if you wish (but confirm that the terms of service permit such frequent payments) And then make sure you still pay the minimum when the bill comes in. Payments made before the bill is cut may not actually count as 'paying the minimum'. e.g. you pay an extra $25 on the 15th, but the bill is cut on the 16th. ...


16

One problem with this plan is that the individual must have earned income to contribute to a Roth IRA. If you have an infant, unless she is the new Gerber baby or something like that, there is probably no legitimate way for her to earn income. If you own a business and have kids who are older, you can employ them to do work for you, but they must really do ...


15

Let's run something quickly... You have a $700 laptop. You want to pay $20 per day to the credit card company? In theory, it would take 35 days, no interest to pay off that computer. But the credit card is likely accruing interest as well, correct? That's still going to be more than the orginal $700. Honestly, it's only 35 days. Get a jar, and force ...


14

This is a great question! Just a couple of days ago I put together a spreadsheet to analyze two mortgage scenarios in response to this question about 15 year mortgages. I ended up not answering that question because there weren't enough solid numbers to provide advice one way or the other. However, your question makes this spreadsheet really interesting. ...


14

Never buy a new car if cost is an issue. A big chunk of the price will disappear to depreciation as you drive it off the lot. If you want a shiny new car with the latest equipment (and if you can afford it!), buy a lightly-used car. Normally I would recommend a 1-3 year old car. 95% of the value, with a big cost savings. But this depends on your financial ...


12

A 529 has a custodian and beneficiary. If, say, my Mom is custodian and my daughter the beneficiary, neither my daughter, my wife, nor I can access this account. In fact, if my daughter chooses not to attend college, Mom can change beneficiaries. So, a 529 is ideal for what you have described. By the way, your wife may have broken the law. Money in your ...


12

The point of financial aid is to provide the difference between the price of college and what the student (and family) can pay. If your income goes up, that difference goes down, and you are obligated to pay more. "Avoiding" this would be tantamount to fraud. When you reapply for financial aid and declare the new income, you also should tell the financial ...


11

Several things to do: Change your bank. $2 for a check? Why?? When shopping for a new bank: ask for a free checking account. College students can get free checking in almost any bank. At least the first box of checks will be free, which will give you enough checks for the next several years (I'm still not half done with the box I got from WaMu 5 years ago). ...


11

No: From The Federal Student Aid Office of the US Department of Education: What happens to my parent's PLUS loan if my parent dies or if I die? Your parent's PLUS loan will be discharged if your parent dies or if you (the student on whose behalf your parent obtained the loan) die.


10

My son is in a similar situation where he is 21 and in college. My wife and I claimed him as a dependant on our taxes last year. He had still been able to get some student loans as a dependant as well as scholarships. I have told him that we will not cosign on a loan for him. It isn't because we don't like our son, it is simply because too many unexpected ...


10

Can I not use a Traditional IRA for college savings as well? Not without tax and early withdrawal penalties. Roths can be used for education to avoid the 10% withdrawal penalty, but since the money is all after-tax, there could be no tax due (unlike a Traditional IRA). What is the common element between a 529 and a Roth IRA that doesn't exist in a ...


10

Don't let your parents drag you into their arguments. This is BAD co-parenting. Yes there is probably alimony paid. It is much harder for 2 people to afford living independently than together (2 mortgages or rents, day care instead of at home care, etc etc). Ignore the bickering between them and don't ask for explanations. Look at your future as if they ...


10

In my opinion, this is probably a personal choice. With no extra paperwork, you and your spouse can each gift $15000 per child. Unless you are planning to gift more than $30K combined, one acct, to keep it simple, is enough. If, on the other hand, your total gifting will exceed this, the simplest approach is to use the 2 accounts, and not need to use the ...


9

Smart parents not wanting to get stuck with a student loan or co-signing on a loan. because rent is so high Are you able to live with your parents? Is there anyway to reduce the cost of rent like renting a room? Can you move somewhere where the rent is cheaper? working 25 hours per week Working 25 hours per week and taking 6 hours is a pretty ...


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