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Avoiding Financial Troubles in College

May 7, 2010
Times Observer

It’s almost the end of the school year. By now, any financial troubles your student didn’t have in the beginning of the year may have caught up with them and reared their ugly head now. Their financial woes are a gentle reminder that the impulsive, disorganized teen you sent to college in the fall is now an impulsive, disorganized consumer running amuck with a checkbook. To make matters worse, they may attend school out of state which makes assisting them in their money disaster a bigger challenge than running the Boston Marathon.
As a mother of two young adults attending college, one in state and one out of state, just when you thought life at home might be a little easier, I am experiencing firsthand the money challenges my college kids create for me. While not intentional, they are learning on the fly, and as a result, so am I. I thought we had addressed everything before they went off into the world on their own. They were prepared for new experiences, new people and new challenges, but not all of the new responsibilities. As I look back, maybe it was too much like sending a kid out into the world with a bag full of candy, expecting them to still eat their fruits and vegetables regularly.
What could be done differently to avoid any further financial troubles in the future? There are a number of financial lessons I would teach earlier in life and there are a few bits of knowledge I wish I had known earlier. My college kids had to learn via the school of hard knocks, and are still learning, but my younger kids will definitely benefit from their siblings experiences and their parents’ new found financial knowledge for students.



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