If you’re sending your kids off to college, it’s time to prepare them financially for the transition.
CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger has some tips for this week’s Steals and Deals.
College students heading to school need an education on how to track money.
Start with money coming in, like cash from a work-study, a summer job, or from the family, and then look at the dreaded expense side of the equation.
There are lots of apps like Mint, PocketGuard, Goodbudget and others that can help manage money, but a simple spreadsheet can also do the job.
Next, many college kids get credit cards.
Anyone 18 or older can apply but must have proof of income to be approved. Without that, those under 21 must have a co-signer on the account, like a parent.
Onne alternative: parents can help kids open a secured credit card, which requires a refundable cash deposit, or they can add students as authorized users on their own accounts, which allows kids to spend and build a credit history.
One note of caution: if junior goes wild with the card, parents are on the hook for the charges.
Finally, in this day of peer-to-peer money transfers, students still need a bank account.
You can keep them at your bank and link the accounts, so that you can keep an eye on what’s going and transfer money to the account seamlessly.
When you open the account, teach kids about compound interest; insidious fees, like minimum balance and overdraft protection, and electronic bill paying.