Personal finance 101 for college students

4 Your Money

Even in today’s uncertain environment on how college is going to happen, parents still need to give their college children a few important pieces of financial advice whether they will be at school or learning virtually. We have our financial expert Andy Mattingly with us today to share tips for all college students.

What is the most important financial advice for a college student?

It is so important that students learn to manage their accounts from their checking account to their University accounts. Avoiding late fees and knowing when to decline extra services such as health insurance are important to saving money. Talk to them about mobile alerts and setting reminders for important dates.

Are there other financial tips for college students?

Remind them to look for discounts on books and other supplies. Also, explain why they don’t want to pay for convenience just because you don’t want to take the time to save money. This is a good life lesson that they can use going forward.

How important is a spending plan for a college student?

It is very important because many will have not earned as much this summer has they had hoped. College freshman often spend a bit more at the beginning of the year with the new found freedoms and that might cause a financial crunch later in the semester. Easiest plan is divide the cash they want to spend by the number of weeks they expect to be at school for how much they can spend each week.

What other concerns should parents be sharing with their college bound kids?

A refresher on scams and frauds is very important. Now is the time of year that there will be an influx of email and social media efforts to scam college students. From non-existent jobs to fraudulent merchandise and discounts all aimed at getting money or credit card numbers from students.

Are there important tips that parents should share about frauds and identity protection?

Remind college students to never provide any personal information over the phone or online when they didn’t initiate the interaction. Let them know that the best way to protect their identity is to have complex passwords and not use the same password for everything. And finally remind them to never feel pressured by someone to make a quick decision or threat of some negative action against them.

What accounts or services should all college students, freshmen or otherwise use?

A checking account with a debit card and mobile app are the basics for every student.  I also believe that a credit card with a low limit should be part of a college student’s financial package. These are the tools that will allow them to manage their money and with the five tips mentioned above, they should be able to avoid any financial issues.

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