I like to think that we raised our children to be money smart and savvy. We tried to instill in them the importance of hard work, saving money and limiting your debt whenever possible. I want our children to be prepared for life spiritually, mentally and financially. Helping steer them in the right directions will hopefully make their adult lives run smoother and sounder. Being prepared for post college debt is an essential part of growing up.
Our 2 older children started their college careers at a local community college. While they were still in high school they saved money from their after school jobs to help fund their tuition, gas and vehicle maintenance. They didn’t have enough to cover all of their fees, but living at home and still being able to hold down a part-time job, helped significantly in keeping their loans to a minimum. As parents, we helped when we could, but feel that our children’s future is their responsibility and if you want something bad enough, you work hard to achieve it.
Developing a budget, paying with cash or prepaid debit and utilizing savings has helped our daughter limit her debt, even now that she isn’t living at home and attending a state school 2 hours from home. This year she chose to rent an apartment with 3 other girls to eliminate a large chunk of her housing fees. She meticulously uses coupons when shopping for food and household supplies. She is even writing to companies about their product in hopes of receiving more coupons to help stretch her budget. She used a phone app to locate all the thrift stores in her college town and is shopping there for clothing and holiday decorations. She takes 4 classes and works 20 hours a week to pay her rent and essentials.
Here are a few of the tips she feels are going to help her be successful in her adult life after college.
- Check your college options out carefully. Attending a community college or state school can help you save tons of money.
- Follow a budget and work hard at controlling your spending while in college.
- Buy used or rent textbooks. New books are not necessary and cost too much!
- Sell any books you buy, even the used ones.
- Stay away from credit card offers, especially those that sound to good to be true.
- Limit your non-essential spending. Movies, shopping and eating out may sound fun at the time, but it will damage your budget and maybe even your waistline!
- Learn to cook, use coupons and shop smart.
- Seek counsel from your parents, financial adviser or confidant that has knowledge of financial matters.
- Start planning for life after college, before college ends and you don’t know which way to turn.
I think her tips are spot on! She definitely has a good head on her shoulders and makes me proud to be her Mom! Do you have any other tips for post college finances and debt? Be sure to comment and let us know a financial tip you have or wish you would have thought of while you were in college.
Inspired by Genworth Financial