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Prepared for Financial Stress in College


Is your student prepared for the financial stress of college?

College is often the first time young people are in control of the majority of their finances. And, many are unprepared.

Here’s how you can help.

Start by creating a reasonable budget together. Emphasize the dangers of credit cards and how using cash reduces frivolous spending. Work with them up with an app to keep track of their spending. By starting now they’ll discover their strengths and weaknesses, while developing the habit of budgeting when they hit campus.

Teach the difference between needs and wants. Encourage buying used, stocking up on healthy snacks and carrying a good travel mug for (drinks) coffee, tea, or water. A coffee pot in their dorm may save them lots of money in the long run!

Working has been proven to increase a student’s ability to manage time. Suggest they find a low stress job on or near campus in a healthy, relaxed environment.

Challenge them to see how long they can make their money last. They’ll face peer pressure to spend money on food, drink, clothes and entertainment. Friends will want to borrow money. Do they have the willpower to say no?

Finally, assure them that you are on their side! Make sure they know they can be honest with you about needs and budget fails. And be sure to celebrate with them when they succeed! Affirmation from a parent can mean more to them than extra money in the bank.  

Remember that your goal is to help them realize that “apart from Him, they can do nothing.”

The absolute best way I can think of to equip your student for college is to take them through the Career Direct Assessment. It’s grounded in Scripture and designed to help you and your student understand how God created them. It’ll likely be both surprising and insightful, and could save thousands of dollars and hours of frustration on wasted education or ill-fitting jobs.