Post-College ‘Raise’?

We are very proud of our son who graduated from college this past weekend with his degree in computer science. He finished ‘on-time’ – completing his studies 4 years after first walking through these arches as a Freshman.

He’s all set to start working a week from today as a software/web developer at a local software company. He interned there last summer and got a full time role. This means he will officially be headed off the family ‘payroll’ soon. No more tuition payments, room & board, or health insurance.

You would think that would be a big boon to our finances, wouldn’t you? It should be a post-college ‘raise’ that would bump up our discretionary spending in a big way, given the cost of college expenses. In reality though, our lifestyle won’t really change.

Almost all of our son’s college costs were saved up a long time ago through a 529 account. Those tax-free savings covered 7 of the 8 semesters he was on campus. We only paid out of pocket for a few of his classes.

The 529 also covered the 3 years he was living on-campus in the dorms. The only thing we paid directly for was a check we gave him last year to cover the cost of his senior year apartment. That was a pretty big check, but we only wrote it once.

Health insurance is another expense that will transfer to him now. His part of our family coverage is about $250/month. That’s a solid $3K annually that will be back in our pockets as he picks up coverage under his employer.

Overall, those are the biggest parts of the savings we will see. In total, it’s less than $5K a year. While that’s a good amount, there’s not enough there to buy a vacation home or new car. I suppose it could add a nice trip to our schedule each year, but we’re all stuck at home due to the virus anyway.

They didn’t have an in-person graduation ceremony, due to the pandemic. Instead, they streamed out a video message to the graduates and their families. We enjoyed that with our good friends whose son also graduated. Afterwards, we drove to campus and got some pictures of the new grads in their caps & gowns.

We laughed that it was amazing that our two graduates started kindergarten together 17 years ago, were roommates for 4 years at college, and graduated together this weekend. Although we won’t be enjoying a big post-college raise, we all feel we got our money’s worth through the whole experience.

You can’t put a price on our satisfaction!

2 thoughts on “Post-College ‘Raise’?

  1. Congrats on raising a productive, capable, and solid citizen! You and your wife should be proud and take bow. It’s a big accomplishment! We’ve had our two girls off the payroll for 8 yrs and 5yrs respectively…it’s a great feeling to see them fly high from the nest. Like you, most of our girls college costs came from 529’s we had set up when they were newborns, so we had a similar small raise when the last one left home. Interestingly, our youngest (who is now pregnant with her first child…our first grand baby!) came by yesterday, and she was asking what type of account was best for starting a college fund when the baby arrives. One of my proudest moments, that all those conversations didn’t go in one ear and out the other! 😀

    Take a bow! It sounds like you guys did a great job!

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    1. Thanks, Thom, and congratulations on your upcoming Grandparenthood! That has to be very satisfying to see your family grow and it is terrific that your daughter is so forward thinking to already be planning for a college fund. What a great thing to see!

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