In the next couple of weeks, thousands of college students will be heading off to college for the first time or maybe the fourth 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?
The five tips are: Be organized; Monitor accounts; Be alert for fraud and theft; Be a smart shopper; and,
Have a weekly spending plan
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.
How does monitoring accounts help students?
Most college students won’t keep an account register but that doesn’t mean that they can’t keep an eye on their account balances. They should be well versed in using alerts and mobile access to verify account balances before spending to avoid fees or embarrassing situations.
How can students protect themselves against fraud and theft?
It starts by protecting their passwords, avoiding using public WIFI and keeping their valuables in a secure place. If they use any person-to-person payment apps those should be closely monitored so they don’t mistakenly send money to someone or have their account taken over.
What actions can students take to be a smart shopper?
It starts with being a comparison shopper on when they buy anything from t-shirts to pizza. They also need to look for coupons and discounts. The final tip is to make sure they avoid becoming an impulse buyer.
What type of spending plan should be developed?
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. I suggest a Monday to Sunday period, as most spending will happen on the weekend, not through the week.