Financial Planning Tips for College Students and Summer Travelers
Smart Solutions • June 2014
This summer, many incoming college freshmen are excitedly packing their bags — as parents nervously hand over their credit cards. If you have a child heading off to college soon, we have three important lessons you can teach your student about handling money smartly when he or she arrives.
Another place where smart money management matters is on the road, so we're also sharing five tips to help you keep your money safe when you travel.
And remember — CommerceBank.com is always standing by to help you with your financial questions and banking needs.
Money 101: Financial Basics for College Students
For some students, heading off to college marks the first time they have been required to deal with financial responsibilities on their own. Is your student ready? Read on for three basic lessons you can impart to help him or her prepare for the financial real world.
Lesson #1: Create a budget and stick to it.
A daily coffee run before class, an impromptu night out, tickets to the big concert … these things may seem harmless individually, but over time they can lead to habitual over-spending.
A detailed budget can help students live within their means. Knowing exactly how much money they need to set aside for necessities can provide an accurate picture of what they have left at their disposal. It can also help them allocate the savings they bring with them to college, so they can make those funds last as long as possible.
Students can create their monthly budget in three easy steps:
1. Add up income.
Lesson #2: Use credit wisely.
Whether they go over budget or become tempted by a big-ticket purchase, students may see credit cards as an easy solution. And while credit cards can play an important role in establishing credit history, they can also cause long-lasting damage to credit scores if used carelessly.
Help students use credit wisely by encouraging them to:
Lesson #3: Choose the right banking products and services.
Chances are students have never had to select their own checking account or credit card before. They may not realize that differences among various banking products — both features and pricing — can potentially affect their finances.
The right fit may depend on a student’s individual needs, but in general, college students should look for the following qualities in their accounts:
One Less Worry
Undoubtedly you have a lot on your mind as you prepare to send your child off to college. The knowledge that he or she is equipped to handle the day-to-day financial responsibilities that await them may help you rest a little easier at night.
Interested in learning more?
- "Credit Limit Tricks: Keep a High Score While Still Using Your Card," Dana Dratch, CreditCards.com, accessed April 18, 2014
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