Expert Financial Advice for High School Seniors: 5 Things to Do Before Leaving HomeKathleen Celmins
Earlier this month, we talked about the 3 things college bound seniors need to do before the end of the month. In that same vein, there are some things high school seniors need to do before they leave home.
When I was a senior in high school, I knew exactly where I wanted to go to college. Oddly, I only applied to one college, and focused the rest of my time senior year on extracurriculars, building my senior portfolio, and applying for scholarships (I didn’t win any, but the practice of applying was good).
I recently got the chance to talk to Regina Lewis, a media spokesperson and consultant, and she shared her advice for high school seniors.
I like getting used to savings — no time like the present, right? Read on for more tips, and share with your favorite high school senior today!
1. Make Saving A Given — Repetition builds muscle memory and when it comes to saving money, the best move you can make is to routinely save money from every paycheck. Use online billing tools to have a portion of your paycheck transferred to savings EVERY time. If you can set up a portion of your paycheck to be deposited into a separate savings account, even better.
2. Sell Items You Don’t Plan to Bring to College — It’s a good time to streamline (before your parents do it when you’re not home). This holds especially true for electronics, which generally go down in value over time. The sooner you sell them, the better. Check household kitchen drawers and closest and get instant bids on sites like Gazelle.com.
3. Seek Scholarships Take advantage of the many scholarships and contests offered online that will go a long way in paying off debt from student loans. Check out:
- Check out FastWeb.com.
- Encourage you parents and grandparents to enter the TIAA-CREF “Big Dreams Start Small” contest on your behalf for the chance to win $100,000 contribution in a state 529 college savings plan. All they have to do is share a photo of you “dreaming big” and a caption.
4. Ask for 529 Contributions as Graduation Gift — Make it easy for friends and family by providing an online link for 529 gifting or relay exactly how you’d like checks to be written in lieu of gifts.
5. Know How to Read Your Cell Phone Bill — It’s one of the most sizable recurring bills for this age-group. Know what you’re paying and what the go-forward billing arrangement is if you’re on a “family plan.” This also helps prevent family conflict.
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