The Lessons A Mom Needs To Teach Her College Kids About Money
Are you sending a kid off to college? Or maybe dealing with a stress-riddled student on their out to the big bad world? They’re about to learn some hard lessons about the real world and money. But you can help them prepare so those lessons aren’t quite as painful for them as they are for some. Here are a few of the conservations you need to start having.
By far the most important lesson is learning to actually look at what you’re buying. People of any age can be prone to not realizing their money is going down a lot faster than they expected. But nowadays, it’s even easier to track exactly what you’re spending. Free tools like Mint mean that you can account for every single penny you spend without too much hassle.
Planning for success
Knowing what you’re spending is important because it helps you figure out what you should be spending. It can be a surprising painful lesson, but it’s valuable in helping them create a realistic budget of where their money should be going. The 50/30/20 rule of budgeting is a good one to help your kids begin to understand planning your finances. They need to know that they need a little money on the side to build savings.
But putting money aside before you spend isn’t just important for giving yourself a financial security blanket. It’s also going to help contribute to possible investments. Investing in your future, like contributing to retirement, life insurance, and savings accounts should start as early as possible. Then there are investments like stocks and bonds, which tend to be a much more effective way of building some real income. A lot of young people have a trepidation towards investing that needs to be broken down.
Reviewing your finances often
One lesson that needs to be taught again and again is the ever-shifting nature of their finances. Between their credit, their income and other aspects of their life, they will qualify and un-qualify for a lot of different money options. This is particularly important when it comes to student loans. Understanding their current agreement with things like loan calculator tools and learning about refinancing opportunities could equip them to get rid of it a lot sooner than they expect.
Getting financially independent
The student loan is just one of the many debts and loans that we’re able to build up. Helping them concoct a strategy to free themselves from debt, or understand how to prioritize their debt repayments is important. In particular, they need to understand the danger of interest and how even smaller loans with big interest can become their biggest worry. So they need to be dealt with first.
The truth is that a lot of our generation has grown up and is growing up to be a lot less financially literate than those before us. You can’t assume that their schooling is going to help them learn about financial realities, so it’s up to us.