College choices teach ABCs of debt
DEAR AMY: Like many fortunate high school seniors, our daughter has a few more weeks to choose what college she'll attend.
Her choice is between two colleges. College A has offered her a full scholarship for four years, and College B is an excellent, yet expensive school.
Both are good academic choices, with B being a better all-around fit (better academic reputation, closer to home, better chance for after-school job, friends attending) for our daughter.
We can manage the cost of B, but it will take school loans (with parents co-signing) and watching expenses very closely.
My husband and I are in our early 60s, so we also are trying to save for retirement.
My parents paid for my education, but I was only allowed to go to one in-state, affordable school.
I don't want my daughter to be saddled with so much debt after she graduates, but I also want her to go to a school that she wants to attend. If we insist on the cost-free school, will she resent that? -- Worried
DEAR WORRIED: Your daughter should go to the best school she can afford. Taking on some debt for this could be a good long-term investment for her to make, but she must not mortgage her future.
If she chooses the more expensive school, she should exhaust every possible grant and scholarship she can obtain before turning to loans. She should work -- over the summer and during school.
She should choose federally backed loans, borrow the minimum and avoid the lure of private loans.
I took on debt for my college education roughly equivalent to the average $30,000 students are taking now, but the experience opened many doors and made my career possible -- through the education, experiences and confidence I gained. Graduating with debt forced me as a young graduate to plunge into the workforce to make payments. Grad school was out, and so was contemplating the colour of my parachute from my childhood bedroom. It took 10 years to pay back this debt, and with every payment I was still aware of the valuable opportunity it represented.
DEAR AMY: I have a problem with my fiance's sleep habits. He insists on "snoozing" his alarm clock numerous times each morning, consistently waking me up every time. This can last for 30-40 minutes before he finally drags himself out of bed mere seconds before my own alarm goes off!
I've asked him repeatedly to set his alarm for when he actually needs to wake up.
When I need to wake up first, I only let my alarm ring the minimum, so that I can cause the least disturbance and get out of the bedroom as quickly as I can. Repeatedly waking up your bed partner is really inconsiderate, and his flat-out refusal to try to accommodate this is rude.
We have been together for nine years, but this snoozing problem only started in the last year or so.
Can you please enlighten us on bedroom etiquette? -- K
DEAR K: Your solution seems obvious. First, your guy should do everything possible to get a better night's sleep. If he doesn't actually have to get up until just before you do, then he should simply give himself more sleep time and set his alarm for the actual time he needs to rise. Perhaps you would shave a few minutes off of yours so you can rise together.
Otherwise I agree with you -- the person who needs to get up first should make an effort to let the other sleep.
DEAR AMY: The incident described by "Wine Guy" reminds me of one of my favourite jokes.
Red wine is spilled, and responses depend on whether it's a Canadian, American or Frenchman who spilled it.
The Canadian apologizes profusely. The American says, "Send me the bill!" The Frenchman says, "What a ridiculous colour for a couch!"
So, if Wine Guy had called upon his inner Frenchman, he might have protected his wife from that passive-aggressive host. -- Carole
DEAR CAROLE: I know my readers in Canada are going to love this. Thank you.