It is never too early to start Teaching Your Kids About Money And College. Finances are a part of life and it is never too soon to start having them plan or at least think about going to college. Whether they are going to a trade school, local community college or a bigger college the expenses are there and there a tons of planning needed.
Teaching Your Kids About Money And College
Money And college go hand-in-hand, and you need to teach your kids about them both if you want them to have a chance at success and self-sustainability. Why do these two go together like peas in a pod? Well, college expenses could be one of your child’s biggest debts in adulthood, with over a million students graduating with debt every year.
If they don’t pay off that debt quickly it could cause them the inability to own their own home, buy a new vehicle, and could damage their credit for years. You want to help keep them from needing to consolidate any loans, but let them know that is an option if things do get out of hand.
Teach Them To Save
Start off by teaching your kids how to save money. This lesson can start the moment they enter into the school system or the year before. Don’t just leave it up to their teachers. They will learn from and through you much better if you teach them at home.
Teach them about spending wisely, and about the difference between wants and needs. Give them an allowance as pay for their household chores and have them use that money for the things they want that aren’t needs, like candy or a stuffed toy. If they want a certain pair of shoes that is costlier than what you’d buy them, teach them to save up for such purchase.
Should You Pay For Their Higher Education?
There is also the dilemma of whether or not you should pay for your child’s college education. Many people would say yes, but some would say no. It could be that by making your child pay for their own higher education they will appreciate that diploma more and pay better attention when it comes to classes. You could go half and half with them on the costs, if you can afford it, but can’t afford their entire tuition.
Consider College Tuition Costs When Applying
Have your kids look around at different colleges when it comes time to start sending in applications. They don’t just want to look for one that has the degrees and courses that they are interested in, but they also need to find one that is affordable for the money you have or the money they have. By making a wiser choice in college costs it could save them thousands in future debt.
Help Them Develop Good Credit Habits
Teach your kids about credit cards, especially the fact that they are no free money and that the longer they take to pay off balances the more they owe. Teach them not to make abrupt purchases on big-ticket items and how to avoid impulse buys even on smaller items.
What things do you think are important for teaching your kids about money and college? Do you think it’s good to start the discussion early?
Jenna is a freelance writer from Renton, WA who is particularly interested in travel, nature, and parenting. Follow her on Twitter.