College Students, Money, and Freedom - By Abby Smith
College is certainly a time of new found freedoms. There are so many things to learn inside and outside the classroom, most of which boils down to self-management. Getting to class on-time, cleaning clothes, getting meals – hopefully some healthy ones, studying, managing new social clubs and time with friends and of course, managing money. Regarding money, here are some thoughts to consider that will help maintain freedom and avoid the trappings of over-spending and gain balance.
1. Talk with your students about money. Perhaps that even includes having a budget. Discuss purchasing of books, food, clothing, car maintenance and other recurring expenses.
2. Distinguish what is a want verses what is a need. You need to eat you want new clothes and video games.
3. Build a character of generosity and charitable giving. Tithe from your income to your church or donate to a charity – this can include giving of your time too.
4. Credit Cards are great to build credit and track expenses. BUT don’t let the credit card help you keep up with friends that appear to have money. Be sure your student understands how interest can build on a credit card and pay it off every month!
5. Have a job. Having a job will not deter a student from their studies, often times those with more to do accomplish more! Having a job can also help understanding the time it takes to earn money and further assist with time management.
6. If you are a parent, don’t fix every mistake your student makes. Let them figure out ways to find a solution to the problem.
These lessons may be easier for some to learn than others, but learning at a younger age and developing good habits can help set your student up for long term financial freedom.
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