Tips To Help New College Students Manage Money
While financial skills may not be considered official coursework, they’re absolutely required for life after graduation. College is the perfect time to encourage your kids to learn, and practice, financial responsibility. Here are 6 steps to help your them get started.
1. Set up a bank account
Kids going off to college need their own checking accounts. If you need to help them out, consider using your bank and linking your account to theirs. Look for an account with no-fee options, an extensive ATM network, and no minimum balance requirements. And make sure they sign up for online banking to track their account.
2. Guide them toward better spending
The opportunities that come with college life can be exhilarating–and expensive. Talk with them about making wise spending decisions. With a student ID, they can score discounts on computers, movies, travel, and much more. They don’t have to spend a lot to have a fulfilling college experience.
3. Consider employment
Part-time jobs are often relatively easy to find on college campuses, so this is a good time for your teen to get used to having a job. If working while attending classes is too much of a load, encourage them to work during the summer.
4. Build their credit history
When it comes to credit cards for your college kid, you need to walk a fine line. You don’t want them to run up large balances on cards. On the other hand, if they don’t have a card at all, they might not establish a credit history. Consider putting them on your credit card as an authorized user. That way, they can build credit while having your oversight.
5. Start paying off college loans
With more than half of U.S. college students taking on debt to pay for their education, chances are your teen will, too. The more they can pay off interest during college, the less they’ll have to pay while managing a full-time job and higher living expenses.
6. Plan for emergencies
Accidents happen. So do car repairs, unplanned trips, and expensive textbooks. An emergency saving fund is a smart addition to the college student’s assets. Begin by saving small amounts, even just $10 a week, any amount is helpful and will build good saving habits for the future.
Fulton Bank, N.A. Member FDIC