Author Topic: I need advice regarding my final year of college.  (Read 7523 times)

joosepcho

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« on: June 18, 2013, 09:36:59 PM »
Hello Mustachians. I have recently come across this amazing blog and earnestly want to set my life straight and plan for my financial future. Unfortunately for me, my first major dilemma came sooner than expected. I currently go to a private university that costs a hefty $60k a year! Lucky for me I was quite the high school student and managed to get a good number of grants, scholarships, and loans. By the time I graduate I'll expect to have $14k in loans 0 interest until I graduate from college (I believe they are called subsidized loans).

Here's my question. I can either commute from home for my senior year and save money on rent ( $700 a month) as well as finally quit marijuana, due to the presence of my parents (I spend exactly $200 a month. I know. I have made some poor decisions. But please leave that for another time.) The upside is that I'll be able to use that $900 a month saved and put it into my student loans, setting me on the Mustachian track of a better financial future. The downside of commuting from home, is that I will no longer live with my awesome roommates. I consider these guys my closest friends, and feel that not living with them for senior year and would essentially cause me to miss out on a lot amazing nights of bonding, sharing, and philosophizing about our beliefs. Something I definitely don't want to miss out on during our final year of college together.

TLDR: I guess it boils down to this. Should I have fun for one more year, celebrating my last year of college? Or should I just grow up and start paying off my student debts? Logic is telling me to grow up and start saving, but another part of me is telling me to stay being a wasteful college student for just one more year before buckling down the Mustachian life. I understand this question really comes down to me, as everyone's senior year of college is different. I guess I was just looking for other peoples experiences, and whether or not they would regret not being around friends during their final year of college.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 09:45:29 PM by joosepcho »

Joel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
  • Location: California
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 09:52:15 PM »
It's not very mustachian advice, but I would recommend enjoying your last year of college. You will have the rest of your life to work hard and save money. It sounds like you will get out of college with relatively low debt overall.

Would living at your parents really prevent you from seeing your friends though? I mean, I know when I was in college, I stayed over at friends houses on their couches often times. Is that not possible?

$900 * 12 months = $10,800. That would almost eliminate your student loan debt. Ultimately, you have to decide if you think it is worth while or not.

If you did not pay down your rent, how long would it take you to pay off your loans? How much more interest will you have to pay?

Aloysius_Poutine

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • Age: 2015
  • Location: canada
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 10:17:49 PM »
I would save the money and live at home. Although i say this now in retrospect, havin done the whole university experience thing and finishing with $45k in student loans. It wasn't worth it. I could have been much smarter.  Debt truly is slavery, and I would avoid it at all costs.

Lans Holman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: North by Northwest
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 10:17:59 PM »
It would also be helpful to know something about what your plans are for after graduation.  If you're going into a field that's  lucrative enough that you have some confidence about finding a job that will let you pay off those loans in the next year or two, I'd tend to say go for what's going to make you happy now.  If your prospects are uncertain, or if having those loans hanging over you is going to make the difference between choosing between a pathway that is interesting and rewarding or the job that will let you pay them, then it might be worth it to try to get free of them now.

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3296
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 10:43:55 PM »
Here's my question. I can either commute from home for my senior year and save money on rent ( $700 a month) as well as finally quit marijuana, due to the presence of my parents (I spend exactly $200 a month. I know. I have made some poor decisions. But please leave that for another time.) The upside is that I'll be able to use that $900 a month saved and put it into my student loans, setting me on the Mustachian track of a better financial future. The downside of commuting from home, is that I will no longer live with my awesome roommates. I consider these guys my closest friends, and feel that not living with them for senior year and would essentially cause me to miss out on a lot amazing nights of bonding, sharing, and philosophizing about our beliefs. Something I definitely don't want to miss out on during our final year of college together.
TLDR: I guess it boils down to this. Should I have fun for one more year, celebrating my last year of college? Or should I just grow up and start paying off my student debts? Logic is telling me to grow up and start saving, but another part of me is telling me to stay being a wasteful college student for just one more year before buckling down the Mustachian life. I understand this question really comes down to me, as everyone's senior year of college is different. I guess I was just looking for other peoples experiences, and whether or not they would regret not being around friends during their final year of college.
I guess you have to decide which one of these stories you want to tell when you're at a job interview and you're asked "Tell us about a difficult decision you had to make".  Perhaps followed by "Could you please leave a urine sample at HR on your way out?  Thanks!"

If these roommates are such awesome people and good friends then you'll all make the time to hang out no matter where you're living.  But if it's just about the shared marijuana experience then you'll find out in about a month.

Aussie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 11:18:27 PM »
Just want to make a comment that the most important thing you do at this stage of college is to line yourself up for a nice full-time job when you finish up.  Especially if you are in some sort of liberal arts field, make sure you are doing some sort of meaningful internship.  You have done reasonably well at minimizing debt so far because $14K or even $25K of low-interest debt is not much in the grand scheme of things if you move into a nice career.

Living at home vs. staying with parents is probably around a $7000 decision.  But if you spend next year working part time retail applying for jobs it could cost you $30,000-$40,000 plus experience.

pumpkinlantern

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 05:39:58 PM »
If you are in a field where the job market is tight and you may not find a job (or a full-time job) for a while, then I would save as much as you can.  The longer you hold onto your debt, the more it will cost you.

If you are in a field where you think you have a realistic chance of getting a good job after you graduate, then you can consider rooming with your friends.  You'll have to decide what is more important to you - being in debt for longer (and have less fun later) or having fun in your last year.

Regardless of which one you choose, I think you should cut the marijuana habit and save yourself $200/month ($2400/year!) and some brain cells.

And regardless of which one you choose, really work hard at finding yourself a good job.  Networking, interviewing, etc. will be more effort and take longer than you think.  And spending the time to do that while you are in school will really pay itself off.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 06:01:12 PM »
Could you compromise?  I don't see anything here about working.  Maybe you can get decent part time job that would allow you to still live with your best friends one last year and still cut into the debt. 

If not, I think I agree with Joel above that you'll have plenty of working years ahead of you.  I'd consider it money well spent to have one last year living with my best friends.  It'll probably never happen again.  Especially if you're smoking that much weed, you guys must be having a blast.  I'd see if I could cut that part of the budget by 75% though.

MsSindy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Philly Burbs
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2013, 08:20:49 AM »
Since you asked for advice.....I'd move home and start getting your life together.

Just because you move home, doesn't mean that you can't go party with your friends or as someone mentioned, crash on their couch for the weekend.  This is not an all or nothing proposition.  I lived at home and still managed to party with my friends, although I didn't inhale :) -- okay, maybe once or twice.....

I think it also matters on what kind of career prospects you have.  Depending on your degree and work experience, you could be a dime-a-dozen coming out of college.  As someone who just went through the process of hiring a Summer Intern, there was a wide variance in students' experiences - those that didn't have 'something' on their resume that was intriguing got passed over.  There were too many others that had decent work experience, campus activities, etc.  Something that showed they had a little drive and weren't a slacker.

On the other hand, if you have a highly sought after degree or something else that makes you more marketable, then you could probably roll the dice and party to your heart's content (just be safe).

Tell us more about your work experience, degree, and what you want to do after graduation (if you don't know, then that's a huge red flag!)


LinCO

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 10:19:45 AM »
I'm more of a hermit type, my brother is more gregarious and you sound more gregarious. He's 51 and still extremely tight with his high school friends. If you are that tight with these guys, I'd make the choice to stay with them. Finances aren't the only consideration, but his are way better than mine since I have 3 kids and he has none!!

Arbor33

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 117
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Upstate New York
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2013, 11:36:58 AM »
I understand this question really comes down to me, as everyone's senior year of college is different. I guess I was just looking for other peoples experiences, and whether or not they would regret not being around friends during their final year of college.

Yes'sir, this one is all about you. Are you going to feel like you missed something by not living there? If that's the case, keep living there. You only get so many opportunities to be a college kid. If you're over it, move on. If not, tap in for another year. You need to be okay with your decision.

That being said, I had a somewhat similar situation. I went to a party school, albeit a state school, and I had a lot of fun. I was paying for it all on my own. I also saw that my family was in an interesting financial situation that left them a bit vulnerable. I worked a few jobs throughout high school, kept working in college, and had enough savings to keep going to the party school but I decided to weigh things out. If my family were to fall on hard times, would I rather be looking back saying I partied when I could've helped? Needless to say, I transferred to another state school that was 5 minutes from my parents house and helped them out. In the end they didn't really need me, but it was the right decision to make at the time.

If I were to go back in time and be faced with the choice again, I'm actually not sure what I'd do. It's nice not having college debt, but part of me feels like there were more good times to be had. I suppose that since I'm happy with where I am today, I'd do it all again. That must be what it's all about. Being okay with your decisions.

Make the decision you'll be okay with in retrospect.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2013, 12:14:54 PM »
TLDR: I guess it boils down to this. Should I have fun for one more year, celebrating my last year of college?

Honestly?  I think you should broaden your ideas of what's fun.  I mean, sitting around smoking (or drinking) with friends gets pretty darned old after a while.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 01:38:38 PM »
TLDR: I guess it boils down to this. Should I have fun for one more year, celebrating my last year of college?

Honestly?  I think you should broaden your ideas of what's fun.  I mean, sitting around smoking (or drinking) with friends gets pretty darned old after a while.

When you're college aged?  I don't think that's true.  (also, why assume sitting around?)

Frugal_in_DC

  • Guest
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2013, 02:33:02 PM »
If it were me I would move back home. I lived at home all four years so I wouldn't have to borrow $ for living expenses.  I really don't feel like I missed out by living at home.  I already had a post-graduation job lined up at the start of senior year, so honestly I was mentally checked out of school and looking forward to graduation.  I was also really busy my senior year with several part-time jobs to help pay tuition, so I was glad to live in a roomy house where I didn't have to worry about meals or running out of clean clothes.

I guess it all comes down to how much you think you'd regret down the road not living with your friends for a few more months.  Just know that not saving $900 a month now means owing thousands of extra dollars plus interest for quite a few years after graduation. Consider also the opportunity cost of not being able to invest the $ that would go towards extra loan payments when you graduate.

Peter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 04:28:01 PM »
Well... what's your degree?

Do you have a 50k+ job likely to fall in your lap easily when you graduate or are you and your roomates going to be working 25 hours a week at Starbucks?

Would make all the difference to the decision, for me.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1446
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: I need advice regarding my final year of college.
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2013, 06:40:14 AM »
A few random thoughts:
*Are you sure all your loan and grant conditions stay the same if you move back in with your parents? In Canada, some government money is based on the assumption that you're "independent", i.e., living away from your family.
*I may be stating the obvious here, but if the friends you live with are the people you smoke weed with, it's unlikely that you'll stop smoking if you keep living with them.
*Are you likely to find work in the same town you're in now? If so, what about staying with the friends for this year, then living with your parents the first year that you work, and attacking your loan then?
*What are you doing RIGHT NOW to find rewarding work (financially or otherwise) when you graduate? If the answer is "nothing", are you slack from smoking weed?