Becoming Debt Free in 2009

May 14, 2009

New Challenge

Filed under: School Expenses — ambercouric @ 9:49 am

I have a new challenge and could use some input and advice from all of you.  Especially, those of you who use coupons and those who are super deal shoppers.

Here’s the deal.   Ashby and Kennedy will be away next school year.  This year Ashby was close enough he could come home on a Saturday and pick up anything he needed.  Next year both will be too far to come home except for holidays.    So, I need to have them completely stocked at the beginning of school and take everything on move-in day.  I know that they could buy toothpaste or whatever when they run out but I would prefer to have that stuff ready (bought cheaply) so they don’t have to use their limited funds to buy these items for themselves.

In addition to buying the toiletries there is a ton of other items like linens, mini fridges, etc. that have to be purchased.

Kennedy, my wonderful, organized, detailed son typed a list of all the items needed for the year.  He included everything from computer to ten pair of socks each.   Kennedy will also need a coat for cold snowy weather.

The grand total of the items Kennedy thinks are NEEDS – $3,595.00.

I am hoping to get everything including the computer for about $2,000.  So, I need to find the best deals on everything from mattress pads to clothes hampers to ties (both boys will attend schools where formal wear is required several times a year).

Here is a partial list of needs:

  • Trash cans
  • Desk Lamp
  • Towels /Washcloths
  • Sheets
  • Comforter
  • Blankets
  • Mattress Pads
  • Mini Fridge
  • Storage containers
  • Hampers

Clothing Items

  • Socks
  • t-shirts
  • athletic shorts
  • shorts
  • shirts
  • jeans
  • dress shirts
  • dress pants
  • shower shoes
  • tennis shoes
  • dress shoes
  • belts
  • heavy coat
  • light coat
  • sweat pants /shirts
  • ties
  • sport coat

Personal Care

  • toothpaste
  • tooth brushes
  • soap
  • shampoo
  • deodorant
  • shampoo
  • clippers
  • contacts
  • allergy meds
  • Tylenol
  • razors

Of course there are a million things I have forgotten.  Somethings will only need to be purchased for Kennedy and some both will need.

April 20, 2009

Goodbye College Scholarship

Filed under: Kids,Scholarships,School Expenses — ambercouric @ 8:29 am
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As most of you know, Ashby is attending college on full scholarship. This school wasn’t his first choice. This school was actually his second choice but once he visited he liked it and then they offered him the scholarship so he decided that it was the place for him.

This weekend he told me that he has decided he wants to transfer next year. Guess where he wants to go. The school that was his first choice last year. He is in his first year but will transfer as a junior because of hours received in high school.

At first I thought of a million reasons why he should stay where he is and most of them had to do with money. He will still have the state scholarship so that will pay all of the tuition but will have to pay for room, board and books. But the truth is that he should transfer. The new school has both a masters and a doctoral program and he will have a lot more opportunities for research.

Most of all college is a once in a lifetime experience and I want Ashby to love ever moment of it.

March 23, 2009

The Big Announcement

Filed under: Budget,Kids,School Expenses — ambercouric @ 8:41 am

If you have been reading for a while you know that we have been trying to cut our monthly expenses.  Someone asked what we would do with the money and I was just a little vague in saying maybe pay off the house early.

Well things have really changed.  Remember this post when Kennedy out of the blue decided he wanted to go to boarding school?    He was absolutely determined to make it work.    He has received scholarship offers from two schools.  FULL SCHOLARSHIPS.  That amounts to about $160,000 over the next four years.   I am both pleased and  terrified at the same time.  I can’t imagine him being gone for weeks on end.  Of course, he has planned to use Skype each day so I can see him.  I don’t even know what Skype is but I guess I will learn.

This will also change things for us financially.   The money we were trying to cut would be for plane tickets and other costs associated with boarding school.   Maybe my blog will change to Debtfree with boarding school expenses.

We haven’t sent back our forms yet so there is still time for him to change his mind but I doubt that will happen. 

I know I should be happy but I am a bit sad too.  I know this is the opportunity of  a lifetime.  One that many kids would love to have.

November 3, 2008

School Project Expenses

Filed under: Budget,School Expenses — ambercouric @ 10:40 pm
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My son is in a program for gifted students.  In this program, projects are required in each class.  Depending on the class some require two or three projects a year.  Depending on the project the cost can range from a couple of dollars to close to a hundred dollars.

Science projects are due in about three weeks so we went yesterday to buy the supplies.  The project he decided on is a unique project that he wrote up himself.  The school provides science fair project books for students to choose a project but he wants to be different and always rights his own.  Last year he had a unique project  that he wrote and he won first place at school and at regional competition.  (I just had to share since I am so proud of him).  Also, last years project used all items we had at home so we only spent the $10 for the board and labels.   Back to this year’s project, by the time I had purchased all the supplies I had spent nearly $100.  I tried not to “complain” about the cost because he had worked so hard on writing it.  Also, the materials that he used are not going to be of any use to us so after the project, part of the supplies will just go in the storage room.

How do you handle the unexpected expenses for school projects or school trips – the trip this year is to the Innaguaration and cost $850.  How do you determine what is to much for a project?  Do you allow your kids to go on all of the school trips?

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