Things Kids Should Understand Before Starting College

The start of college is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. If you are headed off to college or you are the parent of a college-aged student, there are a lot of things you need to know to enjoy a successful college career. Some of these lessons will help put their minds at ease as they go through a stressful and exciting transition. Other lessons will save them a great deal of money and heartache if they know what to expect in advance. Many students borrow money to attend school and it may be the first time they have used borrowed money to pay for something. It can be scary borrowing money and feeling like you are in debt. Make sure your child is included in decisions about their financial aid and their student loans. A federal direct student loan can help you pay for your higher education. Understand that this money must be paid back but it will not be due until you have completed your education.

College students will be on their own without parental supervision for the first time. This may not be a big deal to some kids, but other kids will be overwhelmed with their newly found freedom. While they are able to enjoy this new freedom, they need to understand it comes with added responsibility. Hopefully, they will ease into their college life of freedom slowly and not forget their responsibilities.

While borrowing will help kids afford school, they may also need to get a part-time job to help them make ends meet. Some kids do not expect to work while in college and they may have had no experience balancing work and school during high school. If your child is going to need a part-time job while attending college, work with them to find something that fits their schedule. Sometimes they can participate in work-study programs and find employment on their college campus. Regardless of what they choose to do, support them in balancing their new college schedule and a work schedule.

Managing time in college is especially challenging for students. For most kids, high school is a very structured environment. They attend class all day, participate in after school activities and study during their free time. However, once they reach college, their schedule will have gaps during the day, be different from day-to-day and eventually, change at the end of a semester. Balancing study time with class time and socializing can be a challenge to kids who are just starting college.

Finally, kids have to learn to trust their judgment. They will be meeting new people in college and be exposed to new situations. While most of the things kids do in college are fun and they should be doing their best to enjoy their youth, they also need to realize not everyone is looking out for their best interest. College is a time to learn life lessons, but kids should be careful not to expose themselves to any dangerous situations that will leave lifetime scars.

Money Tips For Kids Starting College

Going away to college and leaving home for the first time. That can be pretty exciting scary, and confusing all at the same time. You are going to be faced with many new things, changes, and of course responsibilities.

You are going to learn many life lessons and probably the biggest lesson is how you handle your money.

Every bodies life is different. Usually when you are living at home most of the money making decisions are made for you or at least you can seek guidance from your parents.

All of a sudden in college you are making money decisions on your own. If you aren’t careful you might find yourself without much money. That is not a good situation.

Making smart decisions with your money not only helps you during college but also sets you up for life. Here are some ideas that might help you with some of your money decisions.

Know Where Your Money Is Going

This is the start of your budget. Make a list of all the mandatory monthly expenses you have. These might include rent, food, utilities, transportation, parking fees, school supplies, loans or credit card payments, and maybe student fees.

Pay Yourself First

Once you know where your money is going each month give yourself some spending money and then find a way to put a little bit of money in a savings account. This develops such a great habit.

Now matter how tight things are put some money away.

Get Organized

You need to keep all of your receipts in one place. Use a filing system. Separate things by month and by categories. You can use an accordion style filing system or just plain manila folders. Make sure you balance your bank statement every month.

Become Cheap

Start looking for little ways to save money. Get in the habit of becoming frugal with your money. If you are not on a food plan pack your lunch. Ride your bike to school or walk. Try not buy your textbooks new. Find used ones or look to trade books with people.

Try Not To Go Into Debt

College can be very expensive. You might be in a position where you are borrowing money to attend to school. Student loans start adding up so make sure that is the only debt you have coming out of school.

Be careful with credit cards. Credit card companies are very good at targeting college students. They do if for one reason. They know for many of you this would be your first credit card and you are more than likely going to get in a position where they are making money on you with the interest.

These are just a few ideas and tips. If you follow these you should be in good shape financially during college and in your life beyond college.

It Is Never Too Late To Start

Regardless of whether you are 17, 27, 41, or 73, you can always get it right one more time. If you are to create the life of your dreams, then know, that it is never too late to start, just by changing your priorities. Often, deciding on a path to follow, starts by thinking, and looking for what is meaningful to you in life. You get to know, and understand yourself better, giving special focus to what matters to you. For most people, pondering about their past, is a reality check. “What did I do, spending the last 5 or 10 years with the wrong person, or hanging on to a failing business, or a wrong job?” Or perhaps you are even thinking that you may have spent all this time with the wrong you!

This can give you the feeling that you may have wasted your life, and you might even feel useless. Realistically speaking, the time you lost cannot be recovered, but you can make up for it. It is never too late to start over, and to work toward the things, or the life you desire. Why is it never too late? Well, unless you plan on checking out of this existence, there is tomorrow, the following day, next week, next month, next year, and many more years after that. Each of these time periods hold a special meaning to you, especially once you have discovered your purpose, and what it is that you want in your life. Now these days have not yet happened. So, they give you a window for endless opportunities with tremendous potential, possibilities that you may not even have dreamed of. All of this potential lies within you. Your mindset is all important. Do not let destructive thoughts rule your mind. Instead, cultivate positive thoughts and ideas within you mind.

Interestingly enough, life is always about starting over. You get out of high school and start college. From there you might start university, or decide to start a career, and get a job. Through all this time you meet new people and start new friendships, while old friends kind of drift out of your life.

As you can see, you are accustomed to starting over. After you take your reality check, and decide on the direction you want to take in your life, give it all you got, and confidently move in the direction of you dreams. It is never too late!

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