Friday, June 22, 2012

Financial Tips for College Freshman

By: Renee Hanson, Private Wealth Advisor

Financial Tips for College Freshmen

Is your son or daughter about to live away from home for the first time? Here are a few suggestions you can use to help your child get off on the right financial foot.

·         Enroll your child in a personal finance course — Doing so can help him or her learn about basic money management. Even if you’ve been teaching these lessons over the years, the information may carry more weight if it comes from an outside source.

·         Create a budget — To help your child become fiscally responsible, set a budget and discuss your financial expectations for each semester before your son or daughter moves on campus. This will help provide a benchmark for his or her spending.

·         Encourage your child to save — If your child works during the school year, encourage him or her to deposit a portion of earnings into a savings account. This may prevent your child from spending every cent he or she earns, instilling a good lifelong habit.

·         Help your child avoid debt — Credit cards, while appealing, can quickly turn out to be trouble. Encourage your child to only use a credit card when absolutely necessary. Or, purchase a prepaid card and only replenish it at scheduled intervals. That way your child will have an “emergency fund” but also learn to live within his or her means.

·         Set up an organized file for receipts — A system will help your child track what he or she spends and make it easy to locate receipts if something needs to be returned.

·         Purchase used textbooks online — is among the most popular online discount sites for buying used textbooks. In addition to saving money, your child won’t have to wait in long lines at the campus bookstore.

·         Teach your child to cook — If your child isn’t on a campus meal plan and doesn’t know how to cook, sign him or her up for a basic cooking class. You can also work with your child to locate simple and quick recipes he or she will enjoy. Home-cooked meals will be significantly less expensive — and likely more nutritious — than dining out.

You may want to consider monitoring your child’s spending by tracking his or her accounts online. This will enable you to address any minor concerns before they become major ones.

About Author: Renée A. Hanson, CFP®, CEP®, CDFA™, CFS, is a private wealth advisor with Hanson, Ayala & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Her passion is in helping women achieve their dreams and financial goals, regardless of life’s many obstacles. Renée is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, IL, MI, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI. Please visit: to learn more.

Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.

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