Is your child financially fit for college?


If you’ve got a teen heading off to college this year, or in the next couple, is he or she responsible enough to manage his or her finances?

Now is the time to sit down with your teen and discuss money goals, even if it’s on a small scale. First and foremost, your teen needs his or her own checking and savings accounts before heading off to college.

Are you expecting him or her to get a job while they attend college? If so, they need to understand that a percentage of their weekly, or monthly, income should go into their savings account.

What about budgeting? Have you talked to your teen about monthly costs, whether he or she will receive an allowance, for example? Will he or she be responsible for paying the rent? It’s time to create a budget and for everyone to know where they stand and to set expectations early on. Does income for the month cover the expenses? Will he or she be taking his or her car? If so, that means they’ll need to cover the cost of gas. Will your teen be paying their cell phone bill, or will you?

Getting a job at college is one thing, but what about during vacation time? Will you expect your teen to return home and get a job?

If your son or daughter is taking out student loans, they may get a refund to use for books and supplies after the tuition bill is paid. Will your teen know how to allocate these additional funds?

Make sure your teen knows how to bank online and has all the tools that he or she needs. Our Online Bill Pay, Mobile Banking and Internet Banking services make it simple to access accounts and pay bills. There are also plenty of money-saving tools to try. Our My Money Manager is perfect. Available on the mobile app and through digital banking, My Money Manager is a financial management tool which gives users the ability to create a budget, define goals and track their spending.

By sitting down with your teen before they head off to college and having a conversation about money, budgeting, and job expectations you’ll set them up for a good start.