Going off to college is an exciting time for our students, but it also comes with new responsibilities, including managing their own finances. As a parent, you play a crucial role in preparing your child for the challenges and opportunities that await them. By teaching the principles of financial literacy, you empower them to make informed decisions and set a strong foundation for their future.
Foster Open Communication
Maintain open and honest communication about financial matters. Discuss the cost of college, tuition, textbooks, and living expenses. Encourage your child to ask questions and seek guidance whenever needed.
Set a Budget
Help your child create a realistic budget for college expenses. Discuss the costs of tuition, housing, meals, transportation, and other necessary expenses. Emphasize the importance of sticking to a budget and making adjustments as needed.
Provide Essential Banking Services
As your child leaves for college, setting them up with essential banking services is crucial. NCACU offers a range of services designed specifically for college students, including:
- Free Checking & Debit Card: Open a free Checking Account for your child, which provides a secure and convenient way to manage their money. A Debit Card allows easy access to funds for daily expenses or emergencies.
- Mobile Banking: Have your child download our free Mobile Banking app. This convenient tool allows them to access their accounts, check balances, make transfers, and deposit checks anytime, anywhere.
- Enable the Wallet in Mobile Banking: Your student will always have their Debit Card handy when they carry their phone. It’s also a more secure transaction because they never need to swipe their card.
- Text Banking: Your child can get alerts for payments that are due, balance changes, and pending transactions.
- Visa® Credit Card: An NCACU Visa Credit Card can help build credit while providing a safety net for unexpected expenses. Teach your student to use credit responsibly and pay off the balance each month.
Teach Smart Spending Habits
Help your child see the difference between needs and wants and encourage them to make thoughtful purchasing decisions. Discuss strategies for comparison shopping, finding discounts, and avoiding unnecessary expenses.
Emphasize the Importance of Saving
Encourage your child to develop a habit of saving money regularly. Discuss the benefits of saving for emergencies, future goals, and unexpected expenses.
Explain Student Loans and Financial Aid
Ensure your child understands the implications of student loans and the importance of researching and applying for financial aid. Discuss the different types of student loans, interest rates, repayment plans, and the long-term impact of borrowing.
Emphasize Financial Responsibility
Teach your child the importance of paying bills on time, maintaining a good credit score, and avoiding excessive debt. Discuss the potential consequences of mismanaging money and how it can impact their future opportunities.
Consider Part-Time Employment
Have your child seek part-time employment to help cover their expenses and gain valuable work experience. Discuss the benefits of time management and balancing academics and work responsibilities.
Support and Educate
Even after your child starts college, continue to offer guidance and support. Check-in regularly to discuss their financial situation and assist when needed. Have them use financial literacy resources, workshops, and educational materials available at their college or through NCACU.
A Final Thought
Preparing your child for college goes beyond academics. Adopting financial literacy skills is essential for their long-term success. By starting early, fostering open communication, and introducing them to services like a free Checking Account, Debit Card, Mobile Banking, and Visa Credit Card from NCACU, you provide the tools they need to navigate their financial journey confidently.
Learn more here, and explore our services and resources that promote financial literacy for students.