With the school year ended and the summer begun, many high school seniors are looking forward to heading off to college in the fall. Here are tips to help students and parents make sure they’re financially prepared for this transition.
Learn to create a budget. For many students, college is the first time they’ll be managing their own personal finances. It’s a good idea to begin estimating income, expenses and a plan for sticking to the budget before school begins. To find help setting up a student budget, check out Mint.com’s student budget template.
Open a checking or savings account. If a teen doesn’t already have a checking or savings account in their own name, consider establishing one before the new school year begins. This will allow for time to choose the account that best fits your needs. Capitol Federal’s Simple Blue checking account may be a good option for teens opening their first account. You can compare Capitol Federal’s different account options here.
Have a family discussion about money. As college freshmen prepare for their first semester, a family discussion about finances for the upcoming year can help ensure both students and parents are on the same page. It’s important for parents to communicate their financial expectations: Will it be up to the student to cover all their own daily expenses? If parents are planning on providing some financial assistance, what will it cover and how will the student receive the funds? Capitol Federal’s True Blue® Money Prepaid Card provides an easy and secure way for parents to deliver funds to students. Or take advantage of online transfers in True Blue Online® banking.
Become educated on credit cards. Credit cards can be a convenient way for college students to make purchases. However, if credit cards aren’t carefully managed, the debt can pile up fast. Students should educate themselves on how credit cards work and the pros and cons before arriving at school. This will give them an opportunity to make informed decisions before they encounter credit card marketing on campus. The Federal Trade Commission provides useful information for learning about credit cards.
What tips would you share to help college freshmen financially prepare for college? Share them here!