What the experts say
Out-of-state college, in-state tuition
“Attending a public college in another state may be more affordable than you think,” said Kaitlin Pitsker in Kiplinger.com. “A number of regional, state, and college-specific programs allow some students to qualify for in-state or heavily discounted tuition at outof-state public schools.” There are regional compacts in New England and the South, Midwest, and West, as well as other agreements that allow students from a neighboring state to get in-state pricing. Some colleges also extend in-state tuition offers to students in special circumstances, including “students with parents who work in public service, such as police officers, firefighters, and sometimes teachers.” Approach your student’s high school guidance counselor first for information about possible programs.
Big discounts for new cars
“New cars are being discounted at the highest levels ever,” said Brad Tuttle in Time.com. With new-car purchases slowing this year after a record-breaking 2015, automakers have been spending heavily on incentives in order to juice sales. The average incentive in September reached a record high of $3,923 per unit, according to a J.D. Power study, beating the previous peak of $3,753 in December 2008. At first glance, “right now is a terrific time to scoop up a new vehicle at a discount.” But while discounts are indeed high, “so, too, are the final purchase prices being paid by buyers.” The average retail transaction price for a new car was $30,665 in September, also a record high. That’s mainly because drivers are opting for more-costly SUVs and trucks, while skipping affordable small sedans and hybrids.
How to pay an allowance
“Parents, you may be doling out your kids’ allowances all wrong,” said Catey Hill in MarketWatch.com. Roughly seven in 10 American parents give their children some kind of allowance, with kids getting $67.80 per month on average. But in about half of families, children still aren’t getting an allowance by age 8, which many experts say is a mistake. Lessons learned early are more likely to stick, so kids can be given a small allowance as soon as they can count money and understand the concept, usually around age 4 or 5. Tying money directly to chores can also backfire, because it makes household responsibilities that are part of being a family seem optional. “Kids will simply stop doing their chores once they have enough money.”
Charity of the week
For children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses, camp experiences can create a vast improvement in self-esteem, independence, and social skills. Nestled in a canyon along the Colorado River in Colorado, the Roundup River Ranch (roundupriverranch.org) offers sick children adaptable camp experiences like horseback riding, kayaking, nature discovery, and art exploration to empower them and give them respite from hospitals and treatment. Programs are offered free of charge to kids ages 7 to 17, with trained medical professionals on site to ensure safety and well-being. The ranch, which has welcomed nearly 4,000 campers from 11 states since opening its doors in 2011, is part of the larger SeriousFun Children’s Network of camps dedicated to serving children and families coping with illness.
Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which rates not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their governance practices, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest rating.