I dropped MM(19) off at work a few weeks ago and then I didn't see him again for a while. They drove him out to a job site (close to home) and he got a ride home after that. So much for our carpool. He is mostly commuting to the job site. They had told him he would mostly be in the office, but I now think they meant the construction office. Which works out pretty well because it is such a short commute. He's paying less for gas than originally expected. Even without the free EV carpool.
He had a house sitting gig for a while too, paid for in food. Which is why I didn't see him for a while.
MM(19) is a couple of thousand dollars richer. He is getting paid every week ($500).
I had totally forgotten about college gift money from in-laws, because they skipped the last time. It just completely fell off my radar. So that was a nice surprise with the kids' birthdays. I can't think of a better use of new college money than to fund his spending money next year. So he has an extra $1,000 cash now too, with that.
Last year MM spent $500. This was everything during the school year that wasn't tuition/room/board/medical. Off the top of my head, his spending would have included school books/supplies, transportation, club dues, haircuts, clothing, dining out, entertainment, gifts, toiletries, ATM withdrawals, etc. I did spend about $250 on bigger purchases for him, when his very liquid funds were getting low. So I think $750 was a fair annual number ($500 + $250) and he will be very comfortable with the $1,000 next school year. ($111 per month).
Summer will be different. Way more expensive. If nothing else, car expenses. & he needs the car to get anywhere. Our house is not the same "all inclusive resort" vibe than he's gotten used to at college. Even if he just wants to go on a hike, he's going to have to spend some gas to get there.
I did put his next 6 months of auto insurance on his credit card and sent him off to get an oil change before he started his work commute. He also needed work boots. He shopped carefully and did coupons/sales for these expenses.
In the end, he was down to $545 more liquid cash left. He received one or two paychecks before he paid $407 credit card bill. It was cutting it pretty close, new paychecks aside. His job fell through last summer and we didn't expect that he'd still have this $500 tied up in the 7% interest account (he technically aged out of the 7% rate). & he has $5,500 tied up in mega high yield savings accounts, that he can of course tap if he needs to. It was just his preference not to touch that. He squeaked by.
That reminds me, I talked to MM(18) about I Bonds and he is excited about that. If we cash out his 3.5% account ($5,000) he can probably come up with $10K by end of summer. & of course, he doesn't have to tie up a full $10K in I bonds. I think we will both want to scale it back a little bit, after things got so tight this year. But he has the luxury to wait and make sure his fall job is working out, before he locks in the 9.62% I Bond rate.
Most likely use of his savings? Buying a car. I don't know how certain it is, but he's starting to talk about wanting a car his last two years of college. & logistically, the kids are going to need their own cars (2) next summer. For this reason, I Bonds are a better choice than funding his ROTH IRA. (& of course, we will float him if he locks in I Bonds in September and wants to buy a car in June. I Bond minimum holding period is 12 months. We will help him out so that he can get the mega interest).
MM(19) had his birthday this last week too. We had a small party for him. He wanted to invite his friends over. We bought him a bakery cake. It ended up being something like $4 after coupons and rebates. That was an unexpected surprise. I am kind of surprised he didn't just want home cooked food for his party (after 9 months of awful college food). But maybe MH didn't give him that option. I don't know. We did order out for his party. He is hard to shop for and never wants anything, but MH bought him some gadget. I bought him some drink coasters that I thought might be nice for his apartment next year. His girlfriend bought him some kitchen gifts. Stuff like towels, pot holder, a spoon and a spatula? With the hand-me-down kitchen stuff we have (plates, silverware, pots, pans, etc.) I don't know that he will need much else. I haven't had the mental energy to figure any of that out *and* he's probably not going to coordinate with his roommates beforehand. So we may just wing it with what we have and what he eventually figures out that he needs.