Providing first semester lessons to your new college student once he/she leaves the coop? Has money been on your list of topics when it comes to advice? If not, consider these recommendations and kick start your student’s year with a condensed ‘Introduction to Money 101’ course:
Budget, budget, budget – Budgeting is one of the most important skills one can learn before heading off to college. With unexpected costs for additional supplies, late-night pizza, fraternity/sorority dues and more, budgeting is crucial to the student looking to balance work and play.
Search for the Deals – From student rates offered by restaurants, movie theatres and cafes, to discounted travel and more, student savings abound in surprising places – you just have to know where and how to look for them.
Buy Used – From textbooks to furniture, college students can save even more by buying used. For textbooks, search for used books to save hundreds of dollars. And with sales of recycled goods often occurring on college campuses, one student’s trash frequently becomes another’s treasure.
Open a Checking Account – One of the first steps in establishing sound financial practices is setting up a checking account. Have your student open a new account in their own name. Using a checking account will allow them to see how their money is spent, and enable them to stay on top of their finances 24/7. Managing a debit card properly can be a good segue to securing credit in the future.
Build Credit – Building credit is crucial for young adults. When the time comes, encourage your student to shop carefully before applying for a credit card, and look for one with a low-interest rate and no annual fees. When they do get that plastic, stress the importance of paying the balance in full each month. Only small, regular charges are best, and the balance is easier to pay off when just starting to build credit.