Listen, I know there are some of you who don’t want to read this. So I’ll forewarn anyone not ready to mention the “s” word because you’re on vacation. I respect that. But the school year is approaching, and as much I’m not ready to wipe off the beach sand myself, it’s a good time to discuss how to prepare students financially for the upcoming year.
I’m a firm believer that financial education should play a much more significant role in the overall education of our students. Learning how to budget, balance a checkbook and create a savings strategy are vital skills and habits that we all should carry through life. It’s fair to say that financial education courses are just as important, if not more so, as many classes students will take this year in high school and college.
Money Management Advice for All Ages
You don’t have to be an economics major to get a good handle on your finances. If you’re a student or parent of a student whose course load doesn’t allow room for finance or economic classes, there’s plenty of information available online. In particular, I like Money as You Grow
, which is an initiative of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. This site is a great tool for parents and children of all ages because it provides age-specific advice about using money and what types of financial lessons apply to various stages of childhood.
KeyPoint Credit Union offers another fantastic financial tool with our Student Checking
, which is free for those ages 16 to 26. Students, young adults and teens get mobile and online access to their accounts, a VISA® debit card with all the perks, the ability to use shared branches, free ATMs nationwide, and a lot more. It’s the perfect way for students to learn about responsible money management.
Smart School-Shopping Tips for Parents
For parents, preparing for the school year can bring a lot of emotions: eagerness, anxiety, excitement, some sadness. It all depends on where you are in life. Especially if you’re a software engineer who’s new to the country or to Silicon Valley, this can be a stressful time for you.
If you’re sending a child to college this fall, you may purchase more supplies and dorm-related items than your son or daughter will ever use. Popular money blog Fat Wallet offers a good checklist for college students and their parents
so you can figure out what you need and what you can avoid purchasing.
And for parents of any age child, Good Housekeeping offers suggested school supply shopping lists
for every grade from kindergarten to college.
For all students returning to school this year, don’t forget to arrive with some enthusiasm and curiosity. You might be just trying to grind through the year so you can graduate and get on with life, but make a point to explore some other interests. This is the perfect time, and you might be surprised by what happens.
I know people whose decision to explore a new course in college led them down a different career path or who were inspired for life by art or music that they didn’t know existed. So go out there and embrace your opportunities.