Do you have a child in college? Parents of college students have high hopes that their child’s education will set them up for a satisfying career and financial security. It’s also a time for your child to learn how to manage a bank account, budget and develop solid money management skills. In the excitement of meeting new people, earning solid grades and learning to manage their time, managing their money can take a back seat.
5 Budgeting Strategies for Students
Heritage Bank offers the following 5 effective money management tips for college students:
1. Set a budget: If you’re a skilled budget maker and manager, share what you’ve learned. If necessary, do a quick Internet search for free budgeting tools. Also, many banks, including Heritage Bank, offer digital solutions for budgeting and expense monitoring that appeal to younger people.
Budgets in real life are not static. Make sure your child anticipates monthly expenses semester to semester and year to year because there might be new costs they aren’t considering.
2. Save something: Saving money is an important habit to develop early in life. Encourage your child to save a portion of any income. It is not too early for your young adult to set up a savings account or even to invest in a retirement fund.
Setting up an emergency fund is also an excellent strategy. Putting money away to cover unexpected costs like a broken laptop, a stolen smartphone or a car repair can help them avoid borrowing money from you or using a credit card.
3. Look for student discounts: Many retailers and service providers offer discounts to college students, so encourage your child to take advantage of these opportunities. From discounted movie tickets to free software, every little bit helps when you're on a tight budget.
4. Consider part-time work: If your child needs extra income to make ends meet, consider encouraging them to look for a part-time job. Many colleges offer work-study programs and campus jobs while college towns usually have opportunities for part-time work.
Additionally, in today's digital world, your child may be able to make money with freelance work related to their discipline (i.e., graphic design, development, writing, etc.).
5. Avoid credit card debt
Credit cards can be a convenient way to make purchases, but they can also lead to debt if not used responsibly. Encourage your college student to only use a credit card for emergencies and to pay off the balance in full each month.
Final Financial Advice for College Students
Because most college students have to juggle their expenses, it doesn't take long to drain a checking account or savings account. Without proper budgeting skills, they may find themselves struggling to make ends meet—a habit that can carry over into adulthood. On the other hand, learning how to budget wisely during college, students can develop positive financial habits that will benefit them in the long run.
Share what you’ve learned about financial management, and rely on a bank built to take the time a younger customer needs to understand the basics of managing money as well as the products and services that can help them earn straight A's in making ends meet.
Can Heritage Bank Provide Digital Banking Solutions & Friendly, Personal Service?
Gen Z is often enamored of digital banking, and a community bank the size of Heritage Bank allows them to bank from their smartphones or tablets. Don’t assume an online bank or national bank offers better digital solutions. And don’t underestimate the importance of the personal service a community bank based in your hometown can offer. If you or your child needs to speak directly with bankers, that’s not a problem at Heritage Bank. National and mega regional banks struggle to provide the same level of personalized service.
Make some time to learn more about the products and services available to you and to your college student. You can review what Heritage Bank offers online or make an appointment to speak with a Heritage Banker the next time your college student is back home.