High school graduates may not be prepared to manage money

High schools grads may not be prepared to manage money

(WWBT) - High school graduates may be ready for college, but too many of them don't yet know how to manage money.

Those lessons could be life-changing, so parents should take some time to go over the basics.

If your child can't write a check or balance a checkbook, that's a good place to start.

The first step is calculating a budget. Take the money they are making from their summer job and figure out spending and savings priorities. An app like Mint can help.

Another good idea is to explain why it's important to pay bills on time and not run up overdraft fees.

Cherry Dale with the Virginia Credit Union says even 14 and 15-year-olds are not too young to learn how to handle their own banking.

"If you open a checking account, you absolutely want to make sure that you are helping them manage that, because you don't want to be wrapped up with fees," Dale said. "Your child doesn't want that on their account, so making sure you oversee the whole process is very important."

If your child is college-age, now is the time to figure out how you'll handle expenses while they're away at school.

Maybe you cover tuition, books, housing and the meal plan, and they pay for everything else. One of the best ways to learn about money is to make some mistakes with it, with no automatic bailouts from mom and dad.

Making a money mistake at age 18 and figuring out a solution is going to be a lot less painful that making one at 30 or 40.

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