(NC) If your child is gearing up for post-secondary, you know that this school year is looking a bit different. Whether your teen is moving onto campus or staying home for online classes, managing their finances is always a top concern. As a parent, you can help by sharing these important tips:
- Create a plan for the year. Having a financial plan in place before classes begin can help keep track of spending habits while staying within a budget. A plan can reduce any unnecessary spending, keep savings in good shape and help prepare for any unexpected costs.
- Save on furnishings. Setting up a home workstation in your house or furnishing a first off-campus home can be a major drain on the pocketbook. Whether your child chooses to buy new or used, research is the best way to save. It’s faster than ever to compare prices online, and they won’t regret the legwork when they’ve got more fun money for the year.
- Save on groceries. Food is one of the biggest costs students incur throughout the year, but your child can hit the ground running with a shopping strategy. A few go-to meals will help them build grocery lists faster and having a list can help them save a ton of money at the store. Loyalty programs are a smart addition to any strategy, and you’ll be surprised how fast the points rack up.
- Get a first credit card. While it may seem intimidating, now is likely a good time for your child to apply for their first credit card. Credit cards can help establish a credit rating, which could come in handy later in life. Thanks to online statements that detail spending categories, a card can also be a useful budgeting tool. Cards like the PC Financial Mastercard award points on purchases that can go towards essentials like groceries or household items.