If your child is one of the millions of college freshmen headed off to school soon, you probably have a lot of shopping, textbook gathering, and packing that’s on the brain coming up in the near future. Yes, you and your child may be knee deep in figuring out the dorm decor to go with but there is deeper, more pressing subject matter just below the surface of the college experience: like your kid’s personal finance plan and crucial tips for college students. As their parent, it’s your responsibility and obligation to prepare them for the challenges that are sure to come as a college student on a budget trying to navigate strategies for smarter spending. You have to give them the tips for college students that will make the difference in their undergraduate lives.
Your kid might roll their eyes, they might moan and groan and they might even exclaim that they know things will be difficult. That won’t change the fact that they’ll need to have a basis to work from. The following tips for college students will be paramount in their successes with money from an early age.
Create a Budget
High school students without too many cares feel free to spend whatever money they have at their disposal while they live off of part-time job earnings or a parent’s generosity. It might be a hard pill to swallow, but that can’t be the attitude of a college freshman. Sit down with your child for a serious talk about the value of budgeting. Outline the streams of income he or she will have coming in from money you’ll provide, wages they’ll earn working a job and student loan and grant money. Show them how important it is to categorize their expenses so they can easily trace where all of their money is going. Of course, you can’t force your prospective student to use a budget, but knowing that you’ve given them the tools they need to create one to realize what’s affordable. These tips for college students can mean a lot.
The trick to a budget is sticking to it. It doesn’t do much good to go through the process of creating one just to wind up not even using it. Educate your kid on the value of smart money choices that work with their budget. Help them find out more about low-cost or free entertainment options in their area. As a parent, you know your child and their habits best. If they have a knack for spending loads of money on expensive coffee or clothes, let them know about the benefits of shopping at outlet stores where you’ll get the same brand names for cheaper or simply brewing their own coffee drinks at home that are comparable to the expensive ones they like. It can be hard to try not to control your child’s budget, but college is the first glimpse that most kids get of life on their own and you want them to start building on the principles that will make them responsible with money as they grow further into adulthood.
Check in with how their finances are going from time to time, but let them take the lead.
Utilize Online Services
Most college students won’t feel like they have to time to sit down and review Excel spreadsheets to keep track of a budget, especially when there are other options for them to go with. Put your kid on the right track with a smartphone app or online provider that makes managing their money easy and pretty painless. These kinds of services generally also provide personalized tips for college students that work well since they’re always on their phone anyway! Mint is one of many money management apps that keeps the busy and sometimes forgetful college student on their toes. You upload your bank account and expense details and you can manage each of your accounts from one place with no hassle. In addition to an app like Mint, an online banking service app will go the extra mile to make sure that your child can access or transfer money whenever they might need it. Mobile deposits make it easier to get cash fast if your kid ever finds that they’re in a bind and need to tap into a balance.
Keep Those Debts in Check
You want to minimize your student’s debt cap as much as possible, so you want to go over these principles with them thoroughly before they leave the nest. Spending money on the right things is crucial. It goes without saying that spending financial aid money on a pizza night with friends is a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean that the temptation to do so will fall away.
Educate your kid with these tips for college students and they should be well prepared for the long road ahead!