ACCC offers consumers seven tips to help teach their children how to manage their money when they go to college
Boston, MA – July 31, 2019
For most students, entering college is the first time they will be managing their own spending and finances. Many credit card companies try to take advantage of college students because they assume they have not learned proper money management techniques. To help protect students, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling provides tips on how consumers can teach their kids how to manage money in college.
“For most students, college is their first time living independently and with that comes a lot of choices – and temptations – when it comes to money and spending,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Good money management techniques, such as budgeting, start at home. Parents need to take the time and discuss how to be financially responsible with their children, so they don’t have to learn the hard way.”
According to a survey by lendu, 51 percent of students say they are barely keeping up with their finances. Thirty percent of those surveyed say their parents did not teach them how to manage money. When asked if they received personal finance education in high school, 51 percent say they received no education at all, followed by 35 percent who say they received a little and 14 percent who say they received an adequate amount. Almost half (41 percent) of those surveyed graded themselves a “C” on managing their money.
ACCC explains how consumers can help their kids manage their money in college.
- Talk about budgeting – Before kids head off to school, parents should sit them down and discuss the importance of budgeting. Start with giving students tips on how they can best manage their money, so they don’t fall into debt. Suggest they use a spreadsheet or money management app to track their spending, which will ensure their budget is accurate. Reiterate the difference between wants and needs so that students don’t obliterate their bank account in the first semester.
- Keep an eye out for student discounts – Many stores around college campuses as well as online vendors offer student discounts with a student ID. With these discounts, college students can save money and learn the value of bargain shopping.
- Minimize student debt – College is expensive, and many students take out student loans. It is crucial to keep an eye on these loans and borrow only what is required. Students should have a plan on how to pay them back after graduation.
- Opening a credit card – College can be a good time for students to learn how credit works and start establishing good credit. This requires a conversation explaining the consequences of bad credit and the importance of paying the bill on time and in full.
- Identity theft – Teens are not accustomed to monitoring their accounts and financial information. It is important that parents discuss with their children how they can keep their money and personal information safe from fraud.
- Getting a job – Parents should discuss whether they expect their child to get a job while they’re in college, either on or off-campus. It is also important to discuss whether the money earned is for their spending money or to put towards their college expenses. Some financial aid packages include work-study, meaning students have the ability to get specific jobs on campus to help pay college expenses.
- Used vs. new – Students can save a significant amount of money by buying used textbooks instead of new ones. Professors tend to use the same textbooks each semester, so students can save money by purchasing older editions.
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit https://www.consumercredit.com/debt-resources-tools/