Sending a child off to college can be quite a challenge for parents especially when it comes to finances.
David Devine, senior vice president of Columbia Bank, says setting up a budget with your child is the first step. “Establishing a budget is a great way for the student to get involved in managing their day-to-day expenses. It’s priority one and sets the child up for financial success in the future.”
Often when a young person goes off to college they want to establish their own financial identity to prove to themselves and to their parents that they can handle being on their own. While that may good, Devine says it’s still important for parent and child to work together. “Yes, absolutely, communication is very important. That way the student can establish a trust when it comes to working with finances and the parent will feel assured that all is well with the bank account, no surprises.”
Devine says parents can co-sign on their child’s bank account. “That way they can monitor their child’s finances and keep a firm grasp on managing the finances if they chose to do so.” If parents don’t feel comfortable about co-signing, they can opt for a peer-to-peer account. “It’s a little less hands-on. But, you can still check in on your child’s finances and send them money very quickly if they need it. Peer-to-peer is set up through bill-pay.”
Mobile bank in increasing in popularity. Devine suggests parents sign-up for the mobile banking app. “That way they can monitor their child’s transactions or get alerts on what’s happening.”