Seeing the school needs kiosk, I recalled those years of searching for all the stuff. Am I the only one who found halfway through first semester there was a sudden need for items we had already purchased?

As a working mom, I was happy to help with supplies as volunteering wasn’t possible. My employer had programs to allow such, but never enough staffing so we could use it. Bringing in hand sanitizer filled the gap or so I hoped. Always more of a spectator in the Super Mom competitions, after a full day of work I wanted to eat cupcakes, not bake them.

Nearly on the other side now, our preparations focused on our gal’s final year of college. As usual it’s a steady outpouring of funds requiring solid stacks of bank. If you’ve survived this, send us some love. I’ve heard senior year is more expensive than we can imagine. I’m told this astonishing departure of funds may be staunched come next summer unless others are toying with me for something to do after being left so broke they can’t actually go do anything.

Still, we are thankful our student is back in the state on the same time zone. Even better, all parts are fully functioning. It’s a long story but let’s just say a horse with many buttons is Cowgirl-speak for hold-my-sweet-tea-and-watch-this. Nothing a great orthopedic physician and more dollars can’t fix. Kids are expensive they say and whoever they are is straight up speaking truth.

No longer will pencils and binders do the trick. It’s double Benjamin books and astronomical parking passes. Looking for a solid investment tip? Buy a parking lot in a busy college town. If I had more than a jar of coins — less quarters for those laundry machines — I’d be calling a realtor.

College living comes with major sticker shock and more amenities than a island resort. As most universities frown on students living in refrigerator boxes, a plan must be in place.

When housing reared its voracious head that first year, we quaked in fear and awe. Figuring out seasonal room rental, subletting and add-on costs, our heads spun and we’d have spit pea soup if we could have afforded it. Now we yawn, shrug and shift debt without blinking an eye.

Any money you might hope to have someday will be sucked into this vast vortex. It’s like a boat, but without the annual trip where you actually get to use it so you don’t feel like it is a complete waste. Even worse, door number two is a second home with even more costs. Thankfully we were steered toward a student-run cooperative living organization that provided nearly independent living with very reasonable fees and allowed all of us to remain living indoors.

College graduates earn significantly more money, according to a Google search, and that’s good news for broke parents. We want to ensure those kids are on their own bank roll as soon as possible at a great career that pays really well. After all, aging parents will want their assisted living set up really nice too. I just hope I get a good roommate.

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