How can I help my student manage money?

Guiding students toward financial maturity is a complicated but important task for parents. Here are some ways you can monitor your children’s financial practices and help them develop financial independence.

Tags: Budgeting, Planning, Student
Published: September 13, 2018

High school and college are both great times for young adults to learn about money management and financial independence. It’s often up to parents to offer guidance and support. For that reason, many parents want to keep an eye on their student’s finances to see how money is being spent and ensure that accounts are adequately funded.

Consider using the following strategies to help your student manage money.

Co-own your student’s account

One strategy is to co-own an account with your student. Co-owners are able to deposit, withdraw and monitor funds in an account. Having access to your student’s account can help you guide financial decisions.

  • Account alerts: Many accounts offer email or text alerts when payments are received, deposits are made or account balances reach a certain level. Signing up for these alerts is a good way to track your student’s budgeting and spending. You will also receive security alerts in case something suspicious happens on the account.
  • Remote banking: Many banks offer a variety of remote banking tools, including online and mobile banking. These tools can be useful for students because they allow them to get up-to-date account information and pay bills without going to a branch or writing a check. Encourage your student to use these tools regularly, especially to check an account’s available balance before using it to make a purchase.

Be a financial role model

One of the best ways you can teach a young adult about smart money management is by being a good role model. Show your children how you make financial decisions. For instance, provide details on your budgeting process or tax obligations so they have an example to build from.

Seeing their parents practice good financial habits helps students learn what it takes to manage their own finances independently. Smart topics to discuss include living within one’s means, using credit wisely, the basics of checking account management and the power of saving even small sums of money regularly.

Keep in touch

Be sure to keep communication open so your children know they can come to you with financial questions. If you’re monitoring your child’s account and notice a low balance or extravagant charges, have a conversation early on to address the behavior.

Even if you don’t have access to your child’s account, it’s important to stay in touch. If your children ask for money more than usual, follow up with why they need it and ask them to share their budget with you. If you do need to send money to your student when you don’t have access to their account, there are a few ways to do it:

  • Send a check, which your child can deposit in person at a bank or with a mobile app.
  • Mail a prepaid gift card.
  • Stop by the nearest branch of your child’s bank to deposit money directly into his or her account.

Remember, a student’s learning doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom. Having open and frequent discussions with your children about money can help set them up for financial independence when they leave school behind.

Ready to get the conversation started about your student’s financial future? Make an appointment with one of our bankers here