It’s a tough time when you student is leaving the house for the first time to head to college. Beyond the emotional toll, there is a lot to think about financially when your student leaves home.
Here are some basics to think about when planning for when you student graduates high school and leaves home for college.
Banking And Spending Money
First, you need to setup a system for banking and getting your student money in college – or maybe you don’t. If you’re planning on supporting your student financially (some parents don’t), you need to setup a bank account that you can transfer money to easily.
Also, you need to make sure that you bank has online options, since your student will need access to the account at home and at school. Consider banks that offer free ATM withdrawals or have large networks, so your student can get cash if needed.
Finally, make sure that you warn your student about the perils of credit cards and that they should expect to be hassled by marketers on campus. A five minute conversation could save your teenager from a lifetime of credit problems.
You also need to think about transportation. They may live on campus, but they still need to get around, and get home several times per year. Maybe this means the bus or trolley, or maybe you’re going to provide them a car.
Whatever you consider, realize that you student still needs to get places, and you will probably have to help them with the transportation.
Students are communicating, and now is the time that many college students drop their family cell phone plans for their own. Make sure that you find a cheap cell phone plan for your student so that you can stay in touch at all times.
Don’t dismiss the power of technology today. Consider setting up Skype calls or other video conferences as well, so that you can still see your student even when they are at school. This connection is more intimate than just a phone call, and it could help keep a strong relationship with your student.
Finally, don’t forget to consider the other stuff your college student will possibly need. This could include technology, such as a laptop or computer. This could include help with books and supplies. It could even include travel – many college students want to travel during spring break or summer vacation. You should have discussions early with your student on the expectations around this, because these will come up at some point.