Parent Question of the Month
How can I teach my student to manage his/her money?
The winter break is an ideal time to review and discuss your student’s money management skills. Both of you already know first-hand if there were challenges experienced during the fall semester which can provide insight to improving the situation in the spring. Often, college is the first time your student is managing his/her own money without the help of an adult. The best way you can make sure he/she is keeping track of expenses is to create a budget or a semester spending plan together.
To help you get started, here are some tips from the Financial Aid Services Office:
-Make sure your student understands his/her income and expenses. Together, review what’s coming in and going out on a monthly or weekly basis.
-Your student should keep copies of bills/expenses, record the amount paid, method paid, and date payment was made.
-Advise your student to purchase used instead of new books.
-Advise your student to get a part-time job if additional funds are needed.
-Ask him/her to be creative when going on a date or an outing with friends.
-If you contribute toward your student’s expenses, have an open and honest conversation about the expectations of this assistance. Is it a loan or gift? Will the financial assistance run out one day?
As an added resource, Binghamton University’s Financial Aid Services staff is happy to discuss financing options, managing financial aid funds and loans (to avoid over borrowing), and budgeting while they are in school.
Financial Aid Services is open 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; with financial aid counselors available on-call Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For general financial aid information online, visit the Financial Aid Services website.
In addition, visit MyMoney.gov where you can calculate a college expense budget and read up on topics ranging from budgeting and taxes, paying for education, credit, privacy, fraud and scams, responding to life events, and saving and planning for the future.