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September is Right Around the Corner

1 August 2023

Well, that summer flew by!  And that means school will soon be back in session. 

September can be a financial whirlwind for parents.  And not in a good way.  There are back-to-school supplies to shop for, new outfits to buy, and for some, tuition fees to pay.

I wanted to share a few ideas so you don’t break the bank filling up backpacks with a seemingly endless list of specific notebooks and calculators or sending your university student off on their own for the first time lacking basic financial skills.

For the grade school/high school student:

Idea #1: Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose – Before you rush to the store or start clicking away online, take a moment to see what you already have at home. That binder from last year could still have a whole semester’s worth of life in it.

Idea #2: Set a Budget – Decide on a realistic budget for back-to-school shopping. Involve your children in the budgeting process. It’s a great way to teach them financial responsibility and the value of money.

Idea #3: Start Early -Starting your shopping early will help you spread the cost over a few months, easing the burden of a potentially financially crushing August and September.

Idea #4: Thrift and Vintage Shops Are Now Cool—and a fantastic resource for items like backpacks, clothing, and sometimes even unopened school supplies. They’re also a great way to promote sustainability, teach your children about recycling, and save money.

 

Unfortunately, basic money management skills are not taught in all schools, so financial education for today’s university students falls upon the shoulders of parents or guardians.  Here are some ideas to prepare your children or grandchildren for the first years of university and young adulthood:

Idea #1: Open a Chequing Account – A chequing account is the first step toward financial independence. It provides university-bound students with access to an automated teller machine and facilitates the payment of bills each month. By connecting your account with that of your child, you can oversee their spending and potentially help them avoid overdraft fees. 

Idea #2: Consider a Monthly Allowance – In addition to tuition, room, board, and books, your child will incur other miscellaneous expenses, including transportation, clothing, personal items, and entertainment. Establishing a monthly allowance can help manage these costs and instill the value of money in your child.

Idea #3: Encourage a Part-Time Job – If your child excels in time management, securing a part-time job while in school can enhance their resume and teach them valuable lessons. Allowing them to use their earnings to attend concerts or purchase the latest merchandise from the school bookstore can also promote financial responsibility.

Idea #4: Consider Student Credit Cards – Teaching your child to use a credit card for small purchases and ensuring that they pay off the balance in full each month from their allowance or potential earnings can prove beneficial and assist them in building a credit score. However, it is important to note that credit cards are not suitable for everyone. If your child is not quite ready to have a credit card in their name, you can add them as an authorized user on your own credit card.

Either having financial discussions with your children directly or teaching by setting a prudent budgeting example can greatly benefit your children in the years to come.  If you have any questions or would like us to meet with your university-bound or recently graduated child, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Good luck to all the students and their parents and guardians this year!

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