presented by: Community Partner Vision Financial Group
Lesson 1: Budgeting 101. Perhaps your child already understands the basics of budgeting from having to handle an allowance or wages from a part-time job. But now that they are in college, he or she may need to draft a “real world” budget. Here are some ways you can help them plan and stick to a realistic budget:
- Help them figure out what income there will be (money from home, financial aid) and when it will be coming in (at the beginning of each semester, once a month, or every week).
- Make sure they understand the difference between needs and wants.
- Determine together how you and your child will split responsibility for expenses.
- Warn them not to spend too much too soon, particularly when money has to last the entire semester.
- Show them how to track expenses by saving receipts and keeping an expense log.
- Encourage them to plan ahead for big expenses by setting aside money for them on a regular basis.
Lesson 2: Opening a bank account. For the sake of convenience, your child may want to open a checking account near the college. Ideally, a checking account should require no minimum balance and allow unlimited free checking.
Lesson 3: Getting credit. If your child is age 21 or older, they may be able to independently obtain a credit card. But if they are younger, the credit card company will require you, or another adult, to cosign the credit card application. A credit card can provide security in a financial emergency and, if used properly, help them build a good credit history. Here are some tips to help your child learn to use credit responsibly:
- Advise them to get a credit card with a low credit limit to keep credit card balances down.
- Explain that a credit card isn’t an income.
- Teach them to review each credit card bill and make payments by the due date.
- If they can’t pay the bill in full each month, encourage them to pay as much as possible.
- Make sure they notify the card issuer of any address changes so that they will receive statements.
Finally, remind your child that life after college often involves student loan payments. When it comes to the plastic variety, extra credit is the last thing a college student wants to accumulate!
-Hal B. Holland, Jr., RFC®
4505 Pine Tree Circle,
Birmingham, AL 35243
Investment Advisor representative of Investment Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor and a division of ProEquities, Inc. Securities offered through ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Broker-Dealer, Member FINRA & SIPC. Vision Financial Group, Inc. is independent of ProEquities, Inc. Please be advised that Hal Holland holds the Series 7, 63, and 65 securities licenses and is licensed in AL, TN, TX, VA, SC, NC, FL, MS, GA, LA, MN