BUDGETING AND BALANCING: HELPING YOUR STUDENT MANAGE MONEY
Mid-morning cappuccino drinks, 3 p.m. candy bars and late night pizza can tempt the taste buds. But they aren't so good for a student's swipe card when done on a regular basis. While adherence to a formal budget isn't likely, there are ways to encourage your student to be cost conscious.
Many freshmen err in overspending on their Jacket Express account the first semester. Sometimes talking with your student about the need to budget expenses can help. Other times a written agreement can articulate expectations if parents are funding the account.
When going out with friends, students should try to balance cost-associated activities with free or inexpensive ones. BW offers an array of free and reasonably priced activities, including concerts, theatre presentations, speakers, Thursday Mid-Night Madness events and more.
Resist habitual spending
The convenience of vending machines and fast food venues makes it easy for students to fall victim to habitual spending when it comes to buying snacks, beverages and other items. Similarly, frequent trips to the mall can erode student budgets.
Set money aside
Encourage your student to automatically set aside a certain portion of money for savings or for special activities like a study abroad program, an out-of-town conference or other rewarding academic experience.
Limit credit card use
For some students, credit and debit cards can be problematic if they are not disciplined in spending.
Reviewing bills for hidden costs and other wastes is prudent in today's economy. Students also can benefit from comparing competitor products and services.