Pharos-Tribune

September 11, 2013

SMART MONEY: Dad worried college girl not learning responsibility

by Bruce Williams
Syndicated columnist

---- — DEAR BRUCE: I am paying for my daughter's schooling to ensure she has a great future. The school is rated one of the top private schools in the country. I can afford to pay this expense, but I am unsure that I am teaching her responsibilities. Should I stop paying and let her get a part-time job to pay her school loans herself? — Reader, via email

DEAR READER: Since you can afford the expense of private school, I have no problem with you paying. There are other ways your daughter can exercise responsibility.

You might suggest that she gets a job on campus for 10 or 15 hours a week for the experience. And of course, during vacations, she should not only be encouraged but obligated to find employment.

I salute your idea of teaching your daughter to have some responsibility. If you couldn't afford to pay for the school, it would be a different matter, but on balance, if she is enjoying herself, keeping good grades, and you can afford it without jeopardizing your retirement, I see no problem with it.

DEAR BRUCE: My husband and I want to build a new home in Texas. We are unsure how to pay for the home. Should we get a mortgage or pay cash for the house? If we pay cash, we will end up closing our savings account. We heard that we should finance a home to make our credit score go up. We have no debt and maintain two good incomes. What do you think? — Reader, via email

DEAR READER: You didn't mention your age, but I assume that you are relatively young. I would certainly not deprive myself by paying cash for the house, especially since mortgage rates are so low right now. As these words are being written, somewhere around 2.9 percent is available for 15-year financing. How in the world can you say no to that?

I congratulate you on having a good income and having no debt, but I would not pay out all of my savings under the conditions you have outlined. As to the credit score, I wouldn't worry, assuming that you pay your bills on time and meet your obligations in a proper manner.