Believe it or not, it’s time for students to head back to school, whatever that may look like. And while school looks a lot different this year, whether you have a college or a high school student, it’s a good time to start building good financial habits and learning the essentials, such as:
-Creating a budget and sticking to it
-Teaching the importance of saving versus spending
-Identifying wants versus needs
-…and starting to build credit.
There’s no time like the present to get your student started off on the right financial foot. Taking advantage of online learning tools through a credit union or bank can help students start managing their finances the right way.
-Student Checking Accounts: Many financial institutions offer a student-focused checking account with a debit card. Parents are also on the account, and there is typically no minimum balance, no ATM fees, and easy mobile and online access. A benefit of a debit card is that parents and the student can work together to determine a weekly or monthly budget for spending. The account can be set up so that when the money is gone, the card will be declined at the point of sale to limit spending to the available account balance.
-Credit Cards: For college-aged students, a credit card account in their name can be set up with the parent also as an account owner. This helps them build credit, and also gives them a way to access emergency funds if needed – all under a parent’s watchful eye.
-Financial Tools: Some credit unions and banks offer financial education tools on their websites to help students learn how to manage their money. Sit down with your student and review them together and share your experience with credit and a savings goal you might have too.
While academics are an important focus this time of year, financial responsibility is a lesson your children will use for life. Take the time to work with your children or young adults to have conversations about budgeting, spending and saving. This will help ensure that your student is set up for lifelong financial management success. For more information on how to speak to your kids about financial responsibility, visit Bellco. Bellco is federally insured by the NCUA.