Here are some ideas and topics to discuss with your student regarding the issue of money.

Financial philosophy
Talk with your student about your family financial philosophy.

  • How and what have you decided to spend money on?
  • How do you decide how much to save and for what are you saving?
  • How do you decide where to give your charitable gifts?

Explain some financial basics:

  • Credit cards and student loans are not free money.
  • These will have to be paid back over time and interest will be added.
  • Charge only what you can afford to pay back in the immediate future.
  • Pay bills in full.
  • If bills are not received ontime, often there will be a financial penalty.
    (This means they need to be mailed BEFORE the day they are due.)
  • Keep a written record of purchases and review bank and credit card statements for accuracy.
  • Memorize your PIN number to access an ATM or credit card and NEVER share this code
  • Shred credit card offers and receipts and statements with account numbers printed on them.

Financial practice
Help your student learn more about managing money by discussing family financial decisions. Show them that you have greater expectations of them to be a financially responsible adult.

  • Let them budget for the family groceries, a trip, or major purchase.
  • Let them work with you on paying the monthly family bills.
  • Talk with them about their college financial aid package.
  • Review a credit card and bank statement together.

Most students will be unaware of the expenses of college. Talk with your student in advance about who is expected to pay for which expenses. Possible expenses may include tuition, books, supplies, cable, parking, extra food, entertainment, insurance, or phone bill.

Positive uses of credit cards

  • Teaches personal responsibility.
  • Establishes a credit history (used later when purchasing a car and home, or renting).
  • Elimates need to carry cash.
  • Provides finances in an emergency.

Signs of unwise spending and overspending

  • Unclear on budget and current financial situation resulting in frequest overdrafts and over-the-limit fees.
  • Paying bills late.
  • Not meeting agreed upon financial obligations (buying books, gas, tuition payment), while having money to buy pizza, movies, and music.
  • Consistently paying only the minimum payment.
  • Using one credit card to pay off another.