8 money lessons your child should know before leaving for college

Since parents can only help so much financially, students must stick to a budget while on campus

All over the country, college students are heading for campus, living away from their parents for the first time. Most parents are still supporting their collegiate offspring, but these young people are embarking on their first immersion into managing their own finances.

That presents a challenge for both students and their parents, who should sit their children down for a frank money talk before classes begin. What will the parent pay for and what will the student pay for? How often will parents provide money and how much will they provide? What happens if the money runs out?

“I think the most important thing to know is what they will be living on, in as small pieces as you can,” says Jean Chatzky, financial editor of the “Today” show, who will have two children in college this year. “They really need to understand what they can pull out of the ATM and how many times they can swipe their debit cards.”

Ideally, your children will have some experience managing money and will already be familiar with living on an allowance, managing a checking account and using a debit card. If you’ve taught them well, they may also understand comparison shopping and the value of saving for a rainy day.

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