Will a Minimum Wage Job Cover Rent? Anywhere?

Some kids decide not to go to college after high school. This can work out greatif they opt for high quality job training instead of heading off to 4-year college. But what if your kid wants to work a minimum wage job in the years after high school? Is there any hope that he or she will move out of your house?

minimum wage job

A minimum wage job after high school puts kids at high risk for living in their parents’ basements.

Why is this?

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To Increase Academic Success, Ask Your Teen This, Now

Many teens believe deep down that academic success is only for “smart people.” For kids that got lucky at birth and were granted more brainpower than others.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Research by experts such as Stanford’s Carol Dweck tells us that the human brain is malleable and changeable throughout life, and that “dedication and hard work” actually increase brainpower.

This month, increase your teen’s potential for academic success by asking this one question:

academic success

“When your teacher explains something important, or gives you an assignment to do, where are you going to write that down?

Writing—not typing or tapping—most solidifies information taken in through the eyes and ears. (Learn here why laptops are not recommended for taking notes in class and keeping track of school assignments.)

To dive deep into this subject, see the article I’ve written entitled 5 Things to Ask a Kid Every September. This article will help you to play the role of “business consultant” for your kid—and get him to set himself up for greatest academic success.

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This Fall, Debt-Free College Strategy Will be Easier to Get

Whether you’re currently parenting middle schoolers, high schoolers, or college students—you know one thing for sure. You’d love to get those kids through college debt-free, and into jobs they love afterward.

But here’s your struggle with debt-free college.

The parenting whirlwind has you gasping for air every day. There’s so much to do to just get through this day and this week.

Where will you find the time and energy to create strategy for something that’s not coming down the pike for years?

The answer is, bit-by-bit. With careful timing and expert guidance.

debt-free college

You’ll take small baby steps each month, with a kind expert to guide you—and then over months and years you’ll make massive progress toward debt-free college and career for your kids.

The key is, you want to move on this bit-by-bit. No pressure. No stress.

This fall, I’m taking steps to make this all easier for you.

In the coming months, I’m going to be making 4 exciting changes to the way I help parents.

1. I’m going to be bringing together a tribe—a group of parents from all across the United States—who’ll get ongoing, personal, step-by-step help from me with implementing debt-free college strategies.

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Reduce Study Time By Putting Your Laptop Away

Ask any student, “How’d you like to study less—while still getting the highest grades possible?” The response will be a resounding, “Are you kidding? Yes!” A student who figures out how to reduce study time while still achieving high grades is freed to pursue paid work, sports, volunteer positions, deep friendships, and other opportunities that will enrich her for a lifetime.

Today we’re looking at just one of the top ten ways students can reduce study time while still getting the highest grades possible.

Students, reduce study time by putting your laptop away.

Oh don’t worry—you can still use your laptop in the library, for doing research and for writing papers.

But when you walk into the college classroom, leave your laptop turned off, put away in your backpack.

6 reasons putting away your laptop during class will reduce study time:

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Pay For College by Renting Out Your Kid’s Bedroom?

Your son or daughter will be leaving for college soon, and it’s just hit you how much you’ll be paying out of pocket for tuition, room and board, and other college-related expenses. How can you pay high college bills—without piling debt onto the kid you love?

You could pay college bills by renting out your kid’s bedroom.

Your son won’t be using his room during the school year anyway—right?

Imagine yourself boxing up and storing all the belongings he left behind when he went off to college.

You re-carpet and paint, move in an easy chair purchased on Craigslist and an IKEA loft bed and desk—and then earn thousands of dollars each year renting the room to a student from a nearby college or grad school.

Here are 7 things to think about if you decide to pay college bills by renting out a bedroom:

1. Where will your child sleep on school breaks?

Plan that out ahead of time. At Dad’s house? In a top bunk in a sibling’s room? On a twin bed that you’ve pushed up against the wall in your cinderblock basement?

Your child can easily tolerate a little discomfort and inconvenience if it’ll lead to him having thousands of dollars less in onerous, burdensome debt after college graduation.

2. “Won’t it be weird to have someone we don’t know living in the house?”

Think of it like being a host family for a foreign exchange student through the AFS program.

That’s not weird, is it?

Your student renter starts out a stranger, but soon begins to feel like another family member.

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In College? Do This and Slash Your Student Loan Debt

If you’re currently in college—or if you’re a parent who’s taken out dreaded Parent PLUS loans—you’d love for a hero in a red cape to swoop down and tell you how to slash your student loan debt.

The hero is here.

slash your student loan debt

1. Slash your student loan debt by applying for scholarships while you’re in college.

Oh—you thought that students could only apply for scholarships during high school?

It’s not true. Sorry—you’ve been given bad information that could cost you and whomever you marry massive amounts of unnecessary debt. Bad information that could compound your parents’ grief if you die unexpectedly.

Here’s the truth. Students can apply for scholarships while they’re in college, and while they’re in grad school.

2. Apply for 10 scholarships every single year during college and grad school.

Knocking out 10 scholarship applications each year is actually easy.

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7 Ways to Encourage Teen Summer Jobs—Starting Now

Teens tend to think summer jobs are all about the money—but parents know different.

The very act of getting off of the couch, identifying job opportunities, and then actively going after those opportunities builds life skills into your teens that they’ll need long after their summer jobs are over.

If you find your teens resisting the idea of applying for summer jobs, here are 7 strategies that will help. (Even if weeks of summer have already passed.)

1. Let your teen feel the sting of poverty.

If you hand your daughter plenty of money to satisfy her every wish and need—she’ll never feel motivated to work hard and earn money for herself.

Give her a tiny allowance and ask her to stretch it to cover all her own teen life expenses, though—and a grocery store job might start to look pretty good to her!

See my clear instructions for parents on exactly how to implement this “tiny allowance strategy” here.

2. Remember—even June and July are good months to look for summer jobs.

The month of May was insanely busy for your family, just like it is for all families. If your teens didn’t have time to look for summer jobs then, that’s OK. June and July are not too late. Employers are still adjusting staffing in June and July—and some of their summer hires aren’t working out. Your teen may be applying just in the nick of time.

3. Encourage teens to go in person to ask about summer jobs.

Teens who fill out job applications online and then wait passively at home for phone calls are a dime a dozen.

Show up in person and talk to managers, though? Let these managers see a bright, eager-to-work face? That’s something not everybody does, so it can make a powerful impression.

Your teen will likely still be asked to fill out an online application, but the initial in-person, face-to-face contact will give him or her an edge over all other applicants.

4. Have your teen list 6 local businesses where she might like to work. Then…

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Big Announcement Here!

Got No Time to Read About Debt-Free College? Here's Help.

I know that you want to get your kids through college debt-free, and straight into jobs they love afterward. Even if they don’t get a single scholarship.

There are few things in the whole world more important to you than that.

You know that I’ve written a book that explains how to accomplish this, but it’s so dang hard to find time to read.

This is exactly why I’m introducing some important changes coming this summer and fall.

debt-free college

1. Bite-sized help—that doesn’t require reading!

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5 Ways to Keep Kids From Living Off You in Their 20s (AUDIO)

Most parents worry at least occasionally: “What if these kids don’t find good jobs and become independent adults? What if they want to lie around on my couch until they’re 30?”

debt-free college podcast

Join me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 6 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn the one sentence that savvy parents cheerfully drop into casual conversation, here and there, during the years their kids are ages 12–26. It’ll make you laugh—and it’ll create a firm boundary that just might save you later.

(14 min.)

Prefer to read the content I talk about in this podcast? There are Jeannie Burlowski articles on this same subject here and here.

The show notes for this episode are below.

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So, You’re Dipping Into a 529 College Savings Plan?

A college bill has just come due, and you think, “No problem! We’ve been saving up money in a 529 college savings plan, so let’s just dip into that!”

Wait, wait—wait just a second.

Here’s an important question to ask before you do.

529 college savings plan

Before dipping into a 529 college savings plan, ask yourself:

Where, exactly, should I have the 529 money sent?

Try not to have 529 college savings plan money sent straight to the college.

The reason, according to this article by CPA Joseph Hurley, founder of SavingForCollege.com, is that some colleges might treat 529 money as a “scholarship” and use it as an excuse to strip your son of some or all of the financial aid money he’s been awarded. Yikes!

Not every college will do this—but some will.

Before you take action, call the college financial aid office and ask this:

“If some money from a 529 college savings plan lands in my daughter’s account today, will that in any way diminish her financial aid award?”

Write down the answer you’re given, along with the name of the person you’ve spoken to.

If the college’s answer is yes, then transfer the 529 money to your own account first—and then on to the school.

I urge every parent with a 529 plan to read this cautionary article provided by SavingForCollege.com.

In it, you’ll learn:

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