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Financial Checklist for Your College-Bound Students


Perhaps this year, going off to college looks a little differently but eventually parents will have to send their students on their way. During this extra time, consider reviewing the following financial checklist with your college-bound students to make sure they will be well equipped for what the future holds.

 #1: Have a checking and savings account

Having a Checking Account with a debit card is a convenient way to handle day-to-day spending while at school. This paired with a Savings Account to keep money for emergencies will help your student learn essential money management skills.

#2: Establish a budget

There is a lot going on for first time college students and only a small number of students will naturally take to budgeting. However, a solid budget can eliminate a lot of excess stress on your student. Establishing good financial habits like sticking to a budget can not only help your student while they are in school but will be a strong lifelong skill.

#3: Get a part-time job

There is no other way to say it, college is expensive.

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of students can attend with 100% paid for by grants, scholarships, and family assistance. Working part-time while in school will not only reduce the need to rely on student loans but can also be an opportunity for your student to learn life skills that will carry into adulthood that they can’t get from a classroom. A student who goes through college without holding any kind of a job can be at a disadvantage when entering the workforce after graduating.

#4: Avoid identity theft and fraud

A young college student has limited experience with money so they can be an easy mark for identity theft, phishing, and other money scams. College students should be trained to avoid identity theft pitfalls and use tools like purchase alerts to flag unauthorized spending from their bank accounts.

#5: Monthly review of your bank records

Many people do not bother to review their monthly bank statements. They may check their balance, but if their debit card is working, they do not bother looking at their past spending.

Your student may overlook that they are paying extra fees for using a non-bank ATM or they have accidently signed up for a recurring subscription. Checking bank statements regularly will help you and your student stay financially fit.

Attending college is a fun and exciting time with lots of surprises in store. Follow this checklist to make sure those surprises do not pertain to money.