College is a an exciting time for our kids. Some students have never been away from home and for many this is the first time they will be truly independent. As parents, we have been saving our hard earned money since the time our kids were born to pay for the high cost of education. Many teens have worked summer jobs to help shoulder the burden. So, how can you teach your kids to be financially savvy so they do not come out of college with more debt than necessary?
1.Do Not Have Multiple Credit Cards
Credit cards are the easiest way for a college student to rack up debt. For incoming freshman, special introductory offers make it enticing to open multiple cards. When one card is maxed out, they have back up cards ready to approve the purchase. Before they know it, the debt has piled up. If a student has just one credit card, they have a spending limit which makes it much easier to manage spending.
2. Save Receipts
Give your student a receipt envelope to keep with them at all times. Every time they make a purchase, tell them to put that receipt in the envelope. At the end of the month, they can check their credit card statements to make sure they were not overcharged or the victim of identity theft. It also gives them a point of reference to see where they can cut costs. They can also download a receipt organizer app so they can keep all receipts in order.
3. Create a spending spreadsheet
It is helpful to keep track of where money is going. By entering expenses into a spreadsheet, it is easy to see how much was spent and on what. After doing this for about a month, it will be easy to see what expenses can be cut.
4. Do Not Become Your Student's Financial Parachute
For many teens, they go to their parents when they run out of money. Set a budget with your student and stick to it. If they run out of money, they will have to sacrifice, find a job, or figure it out. If you rescue them every time, they will never learn to manage their money.
5. College Students Can Do Better Than Minimum Wage
Parents of teens are always looking for reasonably priced tutors. If there is a local high school, students can offer their tutoring services and set their own prices. This is a great way for your student to make extra money and work flexible hours. If they are great in a particular sport, they can privately train middle school and high school athletes.
6. Open Up A Chequing and Savings Account
It's important students learn not to spend every penny they make. Each week, they should put 90 per cent of what they earn in a chequing account and 10 per cent into a savings account. This is an important life lesson and a good habit to start early.
7. Save Money Where You Can
Buying $7 caramel double lattes and eating out every meal is a great way to burn through money in college. Invest in a coffee maker and mini-fridge to make coffee and snacks. This could save at least $50 each week.
8. Choose a more affordable school for two years and then transfer
Many people don't realize they do not have to spend four years at one institution to get their degree. Accepting a scholarship at a school that is not your first choice or going to a school where you get a lower priced tuition is a great option for your first two years. Then, transfer to the dream school with the higher price tag. This could save thousands of dollars in tuition.
9. Student Loans Are Not A Piggy Bank
Student loans should not be used for anything other than school. Using these loans to buy those fab shoes, pay for spring break, or buy a keg for the frat is a bad decision. Talk to your student about financial peer pressure and how it may seem like a good idea at the time but graduating with huge debt is not worth it.
10. Do Not Destroy Your Credit
Missed credit card payments affect your credit score and can hurt your student later on when they want to finance a small business, buy a house, a car, or any other large investment. Teach your student to try to pay off their entire balance each month so they do not rack up interest payments and credit card debt.
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
Grocery stores are strategically designed to place essential ingredients, such as dairy and produce, on opposite ends of the store. This forces most shoppers to pass through all the aisles, often times picking up items they don't need. Try to skip the middle aisles of the store and stick to only the items you need.
Coupons can save you some serious cash. Check out sites like coupons.com for great deals. And then double your savings by combining coupons with what's on sale at your local store. The store's circular is the best way to know what's being promoted. Make it a point to read it on a weekly basis, it'll save you lots.
While buying toiletries at the supermarket may be easy, you're paying a price for that convenience. Save those items for the pharmacy, where they are usually cheaper.
You might be used to a particular brand of cereal or sugar, but the generic options are usually cheaper. Generic brands often use name-brand products with their own labels on it, and they offer it at a better price. Just check the ingredients to be sure you're getting the same product.
Since we tend to look at items that are at our eye level, grocery stores know to place the more expensive items on the shelves we see first. When shopping, look at the higher and lower shelves for cheaper items.
When an item that most people use, like olive oil, goes on sale at the store, it sells out quickly. Inquire about getting a rain check. Some grocery stores offer the option of getting an extension on sold-out sale items.
Many people opt for canned beans because they're either intimidated by cook dried beans or they don't think they have the time. But making a good pot of beans is really easy -- we promise! -- and it tastes far superior. While the difference in price is not enough to break the bank, these little changes will add up.
Many of us go to the grocery store after work and before dinner, which is when we start to get hungry. If you buy your groceries when hungry, you'll purchase more than you need. Try to get the shopping out of the way on the weekends, when you can shop on a full stomach.
Don't buy the pre-made foods, no matter how good they look. You're at the store already, just buy the ingredients and make it for a fraction of the price at home. It'll taste much better fresh, too.
You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: eat the produce that's in season. Not only will it taste infinitely better, but it will save you serious money. Out-of-season produce travels far, which are costs you end up paying for.
While experimenting with your cooking is a good idea, it's not always wise to buy those spices at your local grocery store. Making a trip to an international market can save you a ton on spices and specialty ingredients.
Bottled water is a billion dollar industry, and it's coming out of your pocket. The average 16 oz. bottle of water costs about a dollar, and it's recommended that you drink four of them a day; that equates to $120 dollars a month on something you can get for free from your faucet.
No matter how good your memory is, write a grocery list. Not only will it make sure you don't forget things you need, it'll more importantly deter you from buying the things you don't need.
While sometimes we can't avoid shopping with children, it's best to try to buy your groceries when they're not around. Children will often want to buy food items that you don't need, and it isn't always easy to say no.
Yes, it's convenient to have your lettuce pre-cleaned and contained in trimmed plastic tubs, but it also costs nearly three times the price. If you buy your own head of lettuce, wash and trim it right away, and have it ready to use, you won't even notice the difference.
If someone is getting paid to do a job that you could easily do yourself at home, like cutting up a mango or watermelon, you're going to be paying for it.
You're literally throwing money away by not starting your own herb garden. And you can do it no matter the amount (or lack of) space you have. Fresh herbs cost a small fortune at the grocery store. Often times you can buy an entire plant for less than you can a few sprigs at the supermarket.
Just like with pre-packaged lettuce and pre-cut fruit, grated cheese costs you extra for the convenience. But it's not that hard to grate your own cheese. With a less expensive block of cheese, and a cheap box grater, you can start saving money on this ingredient.
Fancy spice mixes and marinade rubs can easily set you back $5 a piece. This is the biggest waste of money since you can make your own spice mix with seasonings you most likely already have on hand. Remember, a large portion of most of the mixes are just salt.
The good folks at Elizabeth Street reminded us that bagged potatoes can prove to be a really good bargain. Sometimes stores charge just as much for two loose potatoes as they do a five pound bag. Compare as you shop, you'll be surprised where you can find savings like these.
Follow Erika Katz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@bondoverbeauty