In the next couple of weeks, thousands of college students will be heading off to college for the first time. As parents, there is a wealth of information to impart to your children, but perhaps the most important are the following five financial tips.
What are the five key tips for college freshman?
What type of spending plan should be developed?
- Develop a spending plan
- Monitor accounts
- Take advantage of student perks and deals
- Protect yourself from fraud and theft
- Be organized
For college students, a weekly plan for their spending activities for food, entertainment, supplies, clothes and transportation. Best practice is to transfer that amount each week into their account to help lessen the temptation to overspend in a particular week.
How does monitoring accounts help students?
The biggest reason is to avoid fees. Setting up low balance alerts is probably the most important activity to help students avoid fees. The $5 coffee that becomes a $40 coffee because of overdraft fees can get expensive over the course of semester.
What types of perks and deals to students normally miss?
Mostly it is related to asking for student discounts at restaurants, at book stores and the options for free entertainment. Other perks not to miss include discounted printing or special student discounts at local stores.
How can students protect themselves against fraud and theft?
Most college students won’t really know who all is coming in and out of their room on a daily basis. Basic precautions including keeping their money, gift cards and other valuables in a secure place is usually enough. For fraud, the best precaution is to remember to not trust emails, texts or online links if they don’t know the source. Phishing is usually highly successful with college students who don’t question enough the validity of the source and are too willing to enter personal information.
The last point, how does being organized help college students?
Mostly it comes from not having to pay late fees, or higher costs for item they need to purchase. Being on top of when college bills are due, knowing what they need to purchase for classes and generally keeping track of important dates can save money and usually a significant amount of hassle as well.
Why is it so important to impart this knowledge to your college student?
For most, this is the first time they will truly be on their own and with that freedom comes many opportunities for financial hardships that they haven’t been exposed to in the past. The five tips above will hopefully help them avoid many of the common problems that college students experience.