If you’re the parent of a recent high school graduate and soon-to-be college student, you’re probably thinking of all of the ways you can prepare your child before they take flight from the nest.
One of the most important skill sets you can pass onto your child before heading off to college is a set of financial skills that they can utilize for the next four years and beyond. Here are our top picks for the key financial tools every student should have in their back pocket for their first day on campus:
- Budgeting 101. If you haven’t already drilled in the importance of a budget to your child, now is the time to do so. Before the dorm room move, sit down and take some time to assist with categorizing expenses, walking them through flows of income and expenses, and other basic budgeting tips.
- A ‘Find the Deals’ Mentality. From textbooks to college student discounts at restaurants and retail stores, encourage your student to find the deals now and they’ll build a lifelong habit of doing so.
- Smart Credit Card Habits. If your soon-to-be freshman is getting a credit card, stress the importance of smart management and how to avoid overspending. Their college-graduate self will thank you for preventing a pile of credit card debt on top of student loans four years from now – trust us.
- Digital Savviness. This one goes without saying, as most students entering college are already digitally savvy. Helping them transition that knowledge to assist in managing their personal finances will be a breeze then.
- Protected Information. We face more threats to our personal finances than ever before. Be sure to make your child aware of them and lend advice for how they can prevent data theft.
Cover these five key topics with your student before move-in day and continue to advise them on fostering sound financial habits in the years to come. Aiding in forming a foundation for these life skills now will drastically impact their future post-college and beyond.
Visit your local branch with your student or encourage them to check out NorthCountrySavings.com for more information on managing personal finances at college.