Janet Bodnar explains that when it comes to college expenses, tuition and board are just the beginning for parents and students.
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Kevin McCormally: I’m Kevin McCormally of Kiplinger’s; I’m here with Janet Bodnar the Deputy Editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine to talk about unexpected college expenses. Janet parents and grandparents save to pay that tuition and pay room and board bills of college are they home free? Janet Bodnar: Not hardly Kevin, then come the you know $3000 or more of miscellaneous expensive and everything from the book bill to the cell phone bill and some of these expenses can become real bones of consumption with your kid. Kevin McCormally: What are the biggest expenses outside of room of board and tuition? Janet Bodnar: I would say textbooks for sure certainly the most shocking to parents because textbooks can add up to something like a thousand bucks a year. And we are going to cut down on that clue. What you need to do first of all is encourage your kid to use book exchanges like campus to buy use books. Which is what my college freshman son did saving us hundreds of dollars. Thank you very much Peter or you can go online and go to amazon.com or half.com which they sell use textbooks. Kevin McCormally: Oh good for Peter and after textbooks, what’s the next biggest expenses you are going to tack your bank account. Janet Bodnar: Car upgrade of all things, people don’t understand first there is the insurance cost and then there are cost for the parking, a parking permits that’s you are going to pay and then there are the parking tickets that the kids are going to get because they can’t find the parking place. The best thing to do with the car frankly is to keep it home in your driveway and you match actually get a break on your insurance cost. Kevin McCormally: You mention cell phones too, what’s the problem there? Janet Bodnar: Well the problem there is you think you are going to stand and touch with your kid but did your really bargain on the fact that you are going to pay for hours of talk time or his trying to keep in touch with his girlfriend back home or his girlfriend at another school again, bonus contention with the kids. Kevin McCormally: And the other surprise expenses? Janet Bodnar: Big surprise expense, kid wants to join a fraternity or sorority and the do’s in the fess could again can add up to a thousand dollar a year or more and that’s not in addition to the cost of living in the fraternity house. Kevin McCormally: Is any way parents can prevent arguing with the kids about all of these expenses. Janet Bodnar: Well I think Kevin; you have to be aware of them and sudden as much as you can ahead of time. So, If you are going to pay for the book bill or of generous grandparents is going to pay for the book bill that’s a good thing but maybe the kid pays for his own computer you know or for his own sorority or fraternity fees is that the thing. When Peter when off to college he wanted to have unlimited text messaging on his cell phone and we won’t willing to pay for that so we pay that at the ends for the first semester. Kevin McCormally: Okay Janet thank you very much. Janet Bodnar: Kevin McCormally: