Sending Your Teen Off to College? Here Are Some Tips to Help Them Spend Wisely

The following post comes from the Military Saves Blog.  Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Sending your kid off to college can be a scary thing. Especially since it will most likely be the first time they will be in charge of their own finances. It is important to sit down with your child before he or she takes off to college to explain responsible spending and budgeting habits.

Here are a few tips to get them prepared for the real world:


Before they go away to school:

  • Introduce them to budgeting. Sit down with your teen and create a budget. It may be the first time that they have to budget and pay for their own clothes, meals, and personal care, and if they are able to see on paper how these things add up, they may be a more responsible spender.
  • Have them take the Military Saves pledge. Family members are eligible to take the America Saves pledge, so make sure they sign up! This will be a great way for them to focus on a specific savings goal for after they graduate.
  • Open a bank or credit union account. If your child doesn’t already have a checking or savings account with a bank or credit union, go with them to open one and let them be part of the process. Open a savings account and if you’re able, tell them for every deposit they make, you will match it.

Once they are off to school:

  • Say no to credit offers. When I went to college I was bombarded with credit card offers on and off campus. Students are most tempted with these offers when they go to shopping malls. However, if you inform them of the high-interest rates that come with  credit cards, maybe they will think twice before signing up.
  • Ditch the cable. Basic TV is all your child needs while at school. Encourage them to instead rent videos from their college library or subscribe to a DVD service.
  • Nix going out to eat. To make sure that the money you’re giving them for books and supplies don’t go to chicken and pizza take-out, talk to your teen about how quickly eating out can deplete their finances, and hopefully this will encourage them to make eating out a treat – and a once a month or less event.

 

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | December 19, 2013

    Keep #holiday #debt in check by setting a #savings plan & sticking to it! http://ow.ly/COU1y

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Put 20 Percent Away

Written by Lindsay Ferguson | July 8, 2019

“I am a single mother, and I make ends meet for me and my daughter, but I wanted to put money away for my daughter for a college fund. So I started saving 20 percent of my paycheck every month to put it away in a savings account with a high Annual Percentage Yield (APY). By the time my daughter is 18, I will have saved nearly $90,000.”

Melissa took the America Saves Pledge at her work during America Saves Week 2019.

Melissa’s #1 Savings Tip: Take 20 percent out of each pay check, and put it away into a separate savings account.

#ImSavingFor Winner Story

Written by Lindsay Ferguson | June 13, 2019

America Saves awarded one lucky saver, Pedram R. from California, $750 for sharing his #ImSavingFor story. Pedram said, “Saving is important to me because it proves I am not willing to buy unnecessary things to please others or to be perceived as successful.”

Read more...

Getting Out of Debt

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

In 2004, Tonya Shelton was facing financial ruin. Barely making more than minimum wage and having lost her home to an unexpected family crisis, Shelton and her family were forced to live in a rundown hotel.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Written by Katie Bryan | October 18, 2013

Sign Up