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Check in with your freshman, financially speaking

Most college students have been at school for nearly a month making it a good time for parents to review newly created financial habits. A few simple questions can help you determine if they are on the right track financially. It is really important for them to get started with good financial habits.
Why is it important to talk finances so early in the school year?
Most financial habits for college students begin in their very first semester at school. If you can encourage the correct habits early, then they are well on their way to a financially successful college experience.  Good habits will help them the rest of their live and help them make smart financial decisions that can impact their future financial success.
What are a couple of questions to ask?
First start with a few basic questions such as do they know how much money they have in their checking account, do they have any charges on a their credit card and if they know how much they spent the last week on eating out.  These basic questions will tell you if they are tracking their spending and if they are making decisions on spending or just not really paying attention at all.
Going beyond the basics, what else should be part of the discovery process?
Digging deeper, ask if they believe they have enough money for the rest of the semester. And then probe a little more and make sure they are basing their answer on their current spending habits, not just hoping it will last. An understanding of spending habits is an important lesson to learn.  They have to live the concept of needs versus wants and waiting for purchases so they can avoid impulse buying.
What are warning signs a student is heading towards financial trouble?
If they have incurred overdraft charges on their checking account or if they are putting everyday expenses like eating out on their credit card are both big signs your college student is heading towards financial troubles.  This is why an early intervention is so important.  You can guide them to make better choices before it becomes too big for them to resolve themselves.

Posted: 9/25/2014 with 0 comments

Categories: Kids and Money, Money Matters, Students

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