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Set Your College Kids Up for Financial Success

It’s that time of year again, back to school.

For those of you with children in college this means it’s time to purchase those pricey school books, pens, pencils, dorm room furniture, the list goes on and on. This is also a great opportunity to educate your children on managing their finances before sending them off. Use these tips to help encourage responsibility and set your children up for success with money management.

Create a budget together.

Start by sitting down to track spending versus income and discuss how to adjust this as needed. Establish the difference of needs versus wants. It can be tricky to know the difference sometimes, especially when you are young. This will set expectations for the both of you. Your child will now know what they have available each month for food, entertainment, rent, etc. and can make decisions on how they wish to spend their money. Now when they come to you ask for more money you can refer to the budget you created together and as ask what happened.  Share these budgeting tips with your children during this process to help encourage them stay on track.

Set up mobile and online alerts.

Setting up alerts on your children’s bank accounts can help keep them fully engaged with their account activity. Automatic alerts can be set up and triggered to send to their email. While a text message updates can be requested straight from their cell phone by texting a number. There is no reason to not know where your account stands. Alerts can include balance fluctuation on the account, alerts for transactions made, deposits and more!

Understand overdrafts and how to avoid them.

Overdrafts are one of those extra fees that we all find frustrating! With today’s technology, it is easy to stay up-to-date on your account balance. Educate your children on staying engaged with their accounts so they always know the amount of funds they have available. You can also set up backups for overdraft protection on your children’s accounts just in case they do spend outside their limit. If you have an Ameris Bank account you can utilize automatic transfers by linking two accounts so that if you accidently spend more than you have in your account it will transfer funds from another account to cover the difference. Visit our overdraft management page to learn more.

Teach them about credit cards.

College is a time where students can get into financial trouble if they don’t know how to properly utilize credit cards. It can be very tempting to sign up for a card, or two, to help finance educational and personal expenses. Sit down with them and stress the importance of paying bills on time. Show them an example of how quickly interest can accrue on a credit card and the amount of money they could be wasting. We have a great credit card management toolkit for you to reference to help you hit all the key points.

To learn more about student banking and the products Ameris has to offer check out our Student Banking Solutions page to help your child build responsible financial habits.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.