Financial Education for Your New College Student

  1. All high school graduates should have their own checking account or joint account with a parent by this time. You can more easily transfer funds as needed and watch spending in the first year of college.
  2. Go over each expense in detail, in addition to tuition and books, such as a cell phone, car insurance, health insurance, etc. It is important kids begin to understand what it really costs to have all these thing son a daily basis.
  3. Set a spending budget before they leave for college. This prevents (some) calls for money or complaining they don’t have money. Set expectations and limits on spending for various categories such as clothing, entertainment, apps, and more.
  4. Stay firm to your budget. This is one of the hardest parts, especially if they call and have no money to get home for break. (Expect this call.) While you will probably send the money the first time or two, begin to make changes in amounts or don’t provide extra when they return to the dorm.

What Parents Need to Do

  1. Let your auto insurance company know if your child will be in another state or find out if you should up your coverage. Do you have umbrella coverage as well? This could help protect your hard earned assets in the event of a wreck or other accident caused by your teen.
  2. Get a renter’s policy for the dorm. These days laptops, tablets, phones, etc. cost a fortune and inevitably have the potential to be stolen. For major thefts a renter’s policy can come in handy.