It’s the time of year again when college students are headed back to school. After a break that may have seemed so short, it’s time to finally hit the books. While August may have been busy with shopping, packing, and configuring new dorm ideas- September should be focused on discussing financial obligations.
It is important that you communicate with your child the importance of personal finance. As a parent, you are able to give insightful budgeting and spending strategies. Although, your child might roll their eyes during this talk it is important for them to know how college is financially paid for, whether that’s through financial aid, your help, or the child paying their own way. Your word of wisdom can help lead your child in the right direction.
Below are 5 personal finance tips a college student should know while (or better yet, before attending) college:
Create a budget
It’s important to sit down and discuss the source of income they will be receiving to better create a plan. You can discuss the money you will provide, the money they will receive from their job, loans, and other forms of financial aid. Given this information they confidently can track how much they need to save and spend.
Take advantage of online services
Technology has led us to use quicker and efficient services online with just a click of a few buttons. Your child can use apps to manage their money easier or pay back statements while setting up an online banking service. It will also save you a trip to the bank when you need to do a mobile deposit.
Treat credit card with care
You may have now been bombarded with credit card companies sending massive pre-approved credit cards to your home. Be sure to look over which credit card company has the best benefits. Don’t have more than one credit card as a college student. Having a credit card comes with big responsibility to pay off your monthly statements on time. If not you can ruin your credit, which can affect your future.
Student discount advantage
Take advantage of being a student and hunt down the great deals to get a bargain! There are always student discounts, just be on the look out. Vendors, restaurants, and nearby campus stores often give student discounts. Even if it is a few dollars that extra money can add up and save you tons!
Don’t over pay for text books
Make sure to look around and find bargains instead of buy the newest copy at the bookstore. You can always buy used books online. Don’t be afraid to ask around to see if anyone on your campus is selling the textbook you need. If you need the newest edition that may be a little pricey so look at textbook rental options!
Your ultimate goal is to help your child get out of college with the least amount of debt as possible. As a parent, you have the opportunity to help inform your child and help navigate him/her through this experience.