With two of our kids now full time college students living away from home, my husband and I have found that our new word is EMPTY – “empty bedrooms, empty seats at the dinner table and empty wallets” our wallets that is. Phone calls home come often when there is a need for more money. Between books, tuition, gas for the car and food to help them survive the need for money can be endless and quickly empty our wallets. So, how as parents of semi independent college students do we teach them to budget and give them resources to help them become financially savvy.
Can you say American Express – they have the perfect solution a card that allows safe spending and allows us to place custom monthly limits. You can keep track of your students spending at the same time allowing them independence to budget and mange their money. It’s simple – you just add a card to your existing American Express card and specify monthly spending limits.
Our goal as parents is to create money savvy adults who can manage their money and spending habits without making huge financial mistakes along the way. We as parents need tools and tips to help us along the journey so, in an effort to arm parents with tools and tips to educate their teens about responsible spending, American Express, along with financial expert Jean Chatzky and Mom Central founder Stacy DeBroff, launched the Safe Spend program. Designed to help parents teach their kids how to “Practice Safe Spend” before heading back to school, the program offers tips to make discussing the importance of money management a little easier:
– Protect yourself from a budget blowout: There are college expenses you plan for – food on the meal plan, books – and then there’s everything else. Laundry, late night pizza and other extras add up fast. Decide how much your teen will have for these variables, tell them to track all spending, then check back in a month to see how it’s working out.
– Understand that no means no: It happens to parents, too – paying for a killer outfit or electronic gadget with a credit or charge card, only to feel the delayed sticker shock at month’s end. Before your college student arrives on campus, talk about the types of spending temptations they may experience and should avoid while at school.
-Keep your teens close, and their spending closer: A card linked to your account proves ideal for teens in emergency situations. Parents never know when their young adult might need immediate access to additional funds to get themselves out of a jam. For example, their car might break down and they need to pay for a tow. You can give your teen a charge card like the American Express Additional Card with Custom Limits, that allows you to quickly and easily raise their spending limit – granting them access to additional funds – simply by going online.
To read all of the “Practice Safe Spend” tips, please visit financialtools.americanexpress.com. Also you can find tips for financial savvy middle schoolers and high schoolers check out all the great articles and tips.
“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of American Express and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”