College is expensive, and parents often cover much of the cost. According to Sallie Mae, as of 2013, parents were funding 27 percent of college expenses from income and savings, and their average out-of-pocket spending totaled $5,727. Still, last year, 85 percent of parents believed that college was an investment toward their child’s future.
Clearly, parents are paying for much of their children’s college education, and they continue to believe that the investment will pay off. In addition to college tuition, parents might help with travel costs, housing, food, insurance, and even books. Once college is over, some college costs are eliminated, but if parents aren’t careful, their children may continue to expect them to pay for some expenses. Once your child graduates, though, you need to set limits. Here are five things you should stop paying for when your kids graduate from college — doing so will protect your own financial future and teach them financial responsibility.
1. Their rent
When your children graduate, you won’t need to pay for their on-campus housing or even their off-campus apartment as long as they move out. But your children might ask you to continue to pay for their rent until they get on their feet. While this is a completely reasonable request, you should think about it carefully. Paying for your child’s – who is actually a young adult now – apartment can be a wonderful gift if they are seriously looking for a job, but if you aren’t careful, some children will use it as a crutch to avoid getting a good job or taking personal responsibility for their bills.
Allowing your child to move home with you rent-free is another situation you might want to avoid. In 2012, 36 percent of people ages 18 to 31 were living in their parents’ home. While encouraging your son or daughter to move home briefly during a financial hardship is fine, you should still expect them to pay rent; even if they can’t find the perfect job, they should still be working.