This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

7 Things Students and Parents Should Do Before College Starts

Also, keep in mind that your savings don't have to come from a part-time job. "Whenever you get money, even a birthday gift, take at least 10% and put it in your savings account," Behnam says.

5. Sit down and talk as a family. "For many kids, going away to college may be their first taste of financial independence, so it's important to sit down together as a family and set some ground rules well before you're dropping them off at their dorm room for the first time," Descano says.

During the discussion, walk through how much your child will need for living expenses each month, and who will be responsible for making payments, she suggests.


"For example, will you deposit a certain amount of money into their account each month, and they'll be responsible for budgeting? Or will you pay for some of their costs directly?" All of this needs to be discussed before school starts, and it's a good idea to have a financial check-in after the first few months, Descano says.

6. Understand how to view and pay your credit cards online. Although most students are incredibly tech savvy, it's important that they understand how to view and pay their credit cards securely online, says Joe Sicchitano, senior vice president and head of financial planning at SunTrust (STI).

"Students should understand how to check and pay balances online, review their statements and budget so they do not max out their card," Sicchitano says. "Setting a personal monthly cap can serve as a smart safeguard."


Credit cards, when used responsibly, can be one of the best tools for teaching effective money management, Sicchitano says. "For example, online credit card statements provide a detailed list of purchases each month, making it easy to maintain good financial records and assess spending habits."

Parents should encourage their children to log on to pay their credit cards and view statements at least once a month.

7. Get a job if you can. "Working during the summer to help prepare financially for college means more than earning money for teens," says Lauren Arndt, development manager for Junior Achievement of Central Florida.

Being employed also shows students the need for responsibility, time management and money management. "As these young adults are building their savings account, they are also building their confidence and learning the skills needed to succeed upon graduation in today's global economy and workforce," Arndt says.

3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,079.57 -42.44 -0.25%
S&P 500 1,996.74 -3.38 -0.17%
NASDAQ 4,557.6950 -11.9260 -0.26%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs