SmartMoney Mondays: Financial tips for college students

This is the time of year when high school seniors are finding out if they’ve been accepted to college, so it’s a great time to talk about financial tips for college students. So, before they go off to college to get book smart, how can college students get money smart? After all, learning how to independently manage money is one of the most important things students can learn while they’re in college. Apps are a good way to help them manage their finances. These financial apps can hold bank account and expense information so they can manage all their accounts in one place. They also need to learn to live within a budget. You should talk about what’s realistic. And, who will be providing the money? You? Or will they need to get a part-time job? But what about student loans? The most important thing about student loans is to borrow only what’s necessary, because over time, the interest can really add up. Every penny of a student loan should be for school. Taking out more cash to pay for a nice campus lifestyle can be a costly mistake. The higher the loans, the longer they’ll be paying for them. That’s why some people recommend using part-time college or summer jobs to pay down student loans while they’re still in college which can save thousands in the long run. If you’re getting them a credit card, make sure it earns rewards and set a low spending limit. If your child wants to use a debit card while in college, turn off overdraft protection so your student learns that when the money is gone, it’s gone.

SmartMoney Mondays: Financial tips for college students