When our oldest daughter graduated from high school last year, I allowed myself a self-satisfied “we did it!,” a pat on the back for managing to navigate her into adulthood. Then while getting her ready to leave for college, I confess to a certain self-righteous pride at how we had crossed all our t’s and dotted all of our i’s to get financial aid, a scholarship, housing and living essentials all squared away. We had it “all figured out.”
And then…then she actually started college.
Suddenly tuition and books and room and board seem like nothing compared to just the day-to-day costs of living, of incidentals, entertainment, new clothing for a severely different climate than home. And speaking of home, what about getting home? We were naive to never truly factor in transportation costs.
The expectation was that she would get a job to help with expenses, but again, it was more of a “given” than a “how, what, when, where” endeavor. Turns out, at a small college campus where thousands of kids are competing for coveted job openings, it’s been harder for her to secure a position than we expected.
Basically, our whole idea of what this first year would be like for us financially has been turned on its head. It’s very much back-to-the-drawing board as we begin to think of her second year of college.
I’m hoping this hard-earned lesson will serve us well for the next four kids, but even then, I’m sure each situation will be different and there will be other variables to consider. Friends and family can be helpful sounding boards for concerns over college finances, but sometimes it truly helps to have an expert on your side. Enter the Wells Fargo Community.
The Wells Fargo Community is an online forum where you can ask questions and share knowledge about financial topics. It’s a place to get help and help others in a convenient and safe environment. The current focus of the community is education planning; they expect to add additional topics over time.
Who can use it?
The community is free and you don’t need to be a Wells Fargo customer to participate. In fact, you don’t even need to be a member to browse and learn from discussions. But, if you want to post your own questions or answers, you will be asked to sign up.
Why should you join?
The Wells Fargo Community is a great place to have conversations about your financial challenges and goals because:
- People with different backgrounds and experiences have joined the community so you can get a variety of perspectives.
- You can learn from specialists.
- We want to get you a lot of helpful and accurate information so we encourage participation from the community, review all posts, and, in many cases, chime in ourselves.
- The community guidelines insist on constructive communications and moderators make sure the members are respectful.
- You can help others.
I’ve already joined the Wells Fargo Community and have been asking questions like “What Buffers Are Budgeted into Your Child’s College Fund?,” “Working During College: Thoughts?,” and “Does a Smaller, Cheaper School Hurt Your Job Potential after College?.” It’s great for me to get feedback on these questions and be pointed towards answers and resources I hadn’t thought of on my own.
Take a look at this video outlining how the Wells Fargo Community works, and sign up for the free service today!
For more information about the Wells Fargo Community, please visit Wells Fargo Community’s site. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #WFCommunity #spon