Sending your child off to college for the first time is a big step for both parents and students. The checklist of what they need to set up their life away from home is staggering. As many students face this event for the first time, consider the financial lessons that should be covered with them before they enter freshman year.
Learn to stay on a budget
The cost of college is a huge burden for most families and if students can learn to manage a budget from the beginning of their freshman year it will be helpful. Start with an estimate for the cost of living each month by itemizing the basic expenses to need to be covered such as food, phone, books and materials, etc. And set up clear expectations for controlling spending.
Limit use of credit cards
This is a frequent topic of discussion for parents and students. Lots of adults have a tough time with this convenient form of credit so set a firm limit for students. Review the responsibility of paying bills on time and the harsh penalty of high interest rates on credit card balances. Look for the best credit cards for students that allow them to build a good credit history without over extending their finances.
Part time job, summer jobs and campus employment are all ways to help offset college expenses. It may not seem like the income is a large amount for students but the life lesson of gaining work experience is valuable and may lead to other opportunities after college.
Overall, the best plan for students is to focus on their education and to complete a degree program on schedule.
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