As thousands of students head for college, many for the first time, many others for their last year, what, as parents, do we hope they learn? Obviously, we want them to get a good education, one that will allow them to get a good paying job with opportunities for personal and financial growth. That’s why the government offers discharge student loans by students who want to help with their financial needs in school.
But what would you like them to learn beyond that? What I have found is most often missing from the college education is experience in personal finances. In too many cases, parents are simply paying for tuition, room and board, books and fun money while the child learns nothing about money management. Finally, upon graduation, the child is thrust into the real world without the tools to thrive. The result is enduring many years digging their way out of early financial mistakes or, in many cases, coming back home to live where life is easy and cheap. A better alternative is to use the quasi-independence of college life to teach your child how to manage his or her finances. Now, when mistakes are made, it’s under your supervision and you’re able to help them learn the lessons needed to succeed. Here are 5 tips for providing your child a personal finance education: