7 Parent-Child Money Conversations That Must Happen Before Senior Year

Students need to understand the importance of aligning their expenses with their income

“You may already have some financial knowledge you want to share with your child. Maybe you learned a few money lessons the hard way, and you want to make sure they do not repeat your mistakes. But if you are struggling to determine what you should discuss, let me help you get started.”

 

High school students have many concerns on their mind—grades, their car, their crush, and the cafeteria’s mystery meat sandwich, just to name a few. But of the numerous concerns that consume your child’s thoughts in high school, money is probably not one of them. However, we know the advantage a basic understanding of money can give your child as they enter their senior year and are looking toward college.

So, it is up to us, the parents, to discuss the money challenges they will face. You may already have some financial knowledge you want to share with your child. Maybe you learned a few money lessons the hard way, and you want to make sure they do not repeat your mistakes. But if you are struggling to determine what you should discuss, let me help you get started.

Here are seven parent-child money conversations that must happen before senior year:

  1. The most expensive college is not always the best college. There are many good colleges out there. Some are really expensive and some are not. What really matters is not how much you pay but how much you apply yourself. Be willing to explore less expensive options.
  1. School loans are easy to get but difficult to get rid of. Since most teenagers have never taken out a loan, they cannot understand the burden of having to pay one off. Show them the numbers. Maybe talk to them about your loan experience. Make sure they understand the full ramifications of signing that piece of paper.
  1. Speaking of debt, let’s talk credit cards. Credit card companies love college students. Because of this, your child will find ample opportunity to apply for credit cards at college. Like loans, make sure they understand how these cards work and the consequences of maintaining a credit card balance. High interest rates and minimum payments are a nasty combination.

Read More