Helping Your College Student Follow a Budget

College provides numerous opportunities for young adults—perhaps the most important of which is learning to live independently. As a parent, you should do your best to let your student take control of their own life; still, there’s nothing wrong with providing sound advice every once in a while. Here are a few tips for helping your college student stay on solid financial ground :

college student smiling

Encourage Dorm Room Cooking
One of the biggest expenses of college life comes from meals out and cups of coffee between classes. Instead of allowing your student spend hundreds of dollars at restaurants, give them the tools they need to make delicious meals at home. Together with a modest meal plan, a microwave oven, a crockpot, and a coffee maker can  help your student save a ton each month

Beware the Dangers of Credit Cards
Having your college student get and use a credit card is great for building credit, but credit card use can easily get out of hand. Some college students see credit as “free money,” and use their cards irresponsibly. Once your student starts using a credit card, have a discussion about credit card debt and encourage your student to pay off the full balance each month.

Find Transportation Alternatives
While it may be nice for your student to have the freedom of their own vehicle, the cost of gas, maintenance, parking, and insurance can take a huge bite out of their budget. Instead, you might get your student a new bike or offer to pay for public transportation. If your student must have a vehicle, opt for a small, fuel-efficient model.

Another great way to help your college student take care of their finances is to have them forge a great relationship with their credit union. At GCS Credit Union, we’re always eager to help college students with checking accounts, auto loans, and other important banking services. Have your college student  contact our O’Fallon office  at (618) 797-7993 or visit our website to find out more about debit cards, credit cards, and personal loans.

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