The time spent in college can be some of the best years of your child’s life but those years can also be some of the most expensive for you. Since many high schools don’t pay any attention to even the most basic personal financial matters (I know mine didn’t), many college students will make mistakes with their money they (or in a lot of cases — you) will being paying for in the years to come.
Click through for 7 things to tell your college student that will keep day-to-day college expenses from getting out of control…
Parents: How to Keep Your Kids Day-to-Day College Expenses Low 1 of 8
Image source: CollegeDegrees360
“Stick With a Meal Plan” 2 of 8
Most college campuses offer an affordable meal plan where three meals a day are provided in the campus cafeteria. While an occasional pizza in the dorm is okay, advise your kid to save more money by eating meals on campus rather than wasting the meal plan.
Image source: chinaoffseason
“Have One Credit Card for Emergencies” 3 of 8
Credit card laws have changed and now students under 21 cannot get a credit card of their own without parental consent. However, those of age should limit their credit card ownership to one for emergencies. Encourage your college student to establish a credit history on a solid foundation by not using credit if they don't have the cash, and to pay off the balance at the end of every billing cycle. Also, have your child take a crash course in debt and credit management before they sign up for a card.
Image source: me and the sysop
“Establish a Budget” 4 of 8
Whether your child is financially dependent on you or is able to pay for their living expenses themselves, a budget to live by each month should be established. Creating a budget is fairly easy: account for the income you have and subtract monthly expenses to see where you stand. Then, allocate a portion towards entertainment expenses only if it is available.
Image source: i am a real estate photographer
“Live Within Your Means” 5 of 8
Your child will meet a wide array of people on campus. Some will be very financially comfortable while others will be putting every cent they have towards college tuition. Encourage your college student to stick to their budget rather than trying to keep up with their roommates. Remind them that if they can't afford something to not put themselves in debt, and to accept any financial limitations.
Image source: GoldenEel
“Share With Roommates” 6 of 8
If your college student chooses to live off campus, encourage them to find suitable roommates that are willing and able to share the costs of daily living including rent, groceries, utilities, and the like. If a roommate situation is not working out, have them consider moving back to the dorm where there are less living expenses and monthly bills.
Image source: Tulane Public Relations
“Show Off Your ID” 7 of 8
There are many businesses especially in a college town that offers discounts and deals to students that can provide their college identification. Have your child seek out which businesses have such incentives and encourage them to take advantage of these savings. Also, remind your kid to keep up to date on the campus events that are typically free for current students.
Image source: markhillary
“Earn Pocket Money” 8 of 8
Many students opt to not work full time during college to concentrate on their education. A part-time job on campus may be a good idea to earn some spending money. Your college student can tap into their skills to earn some cash doing things such as tutoring, music lesson, or doing other people's laundry.
Image source: Mike Schmid