Money management for college students is full of practical advice. There are tips that can be used by every parent and student.
College is a huge investment and requires an entire family's commitment. The student can easily get into a financial jam without the proper instructions.
I will not be discussing several topics such as: living in a dorm or renting, meal plans, text books, tuition, and a car at college.
The time to discuss finances is not on the drive delivering your student to college. There will be countless other things that you will need to remind him or her to do and not do.
It will take lots of preparation for college students to learn money management. That education must start years earlier. Here are some things that need to be accomplished during those high school years.
Scammers go after the naive and susceptible. Those are the young and trusting elderly most often. These con artists are very clever and skillful. They have successfully used their swindle on many.
Sometimes the con artist is after money. Other times they are after information that can lead to money. College students must be leery of anyone asking them for their social security number, credit card or debit card number, expiration dates, bank account numbers, pin numbers, etc.
The scammer is very experienced and able to answer most of the questions asked. So, how should they be handled? Legitimate inquirers know about these con artists. They will not mind you returning the call to their place of business.
Don't call the number provided. Look up the number. Make the call. Only after you are sure that it is the bank or business that you called, will it make sense to give them any information.
Con artists quickly move on to the next person if you will not give them what they need. Don't be a victim.
Somehow college campuses attract credit card "pushers". Remember, they are there to make money - not to help you.
I lived at home during the first 5 years of college. Yes, I paid room and board. Yes, I had job opportunities. I was an aggressive kid that wanted to get ahead. So, I worked two part-time jobs during all of my college years.
You will find your own level of interest in working during college. It is kind of nice to have extra money and responsibility. There are many jobs available on nearly every college campus. Ask about them and you will find them.
These are formative years, so every student should be developing good work habits. A good work ethic will go a long way in any career choice.
Some students start their own business while in college. Maybe you will be the next Mark Zuckerman, co-founder of Facebook.
Realize That Money Can Work for You. Money in a savings account will earn interest. The magic of compound interest can make you a millionaire.
Do Not Adjust Spending to Your Account Balance. Doing this will sabotage your financial future.
Understand the Difference Between "Wants" and "Needs". Click here for clarification. Always wait a day to evaluate a pending purchase.
Live Frugally. Take advantage of student discounts at movies, restaurants, etc.
Let me preface these thoughts with a personal observation. I believe that the 10 year period between ages 15 and 25 is the most important time in most of our lives. During these 10 years we choose our educational path, a career, a mate (sometimes), make lots of mistakes, do some experimenting, etc.
Make smart choices during college years. Decide what is important for your future. Eat a healthy diet and stay physically active.
We all know that college students keep track of their grades and grade point averages. Do the same with your money (or your parents money).
Your are likely to make lifelong friendships. Make your college life exciting. Taste the freedom. Have fun. But, be responsible.