College Graduates Flock Back Home: 3 Tips to Teach Your Children Financial Independence
You are glowing with pride as your child heads off to the college they always dreamed of attending. As their car pulls away you experience a whirlwind of emotions: you are nervous, excited, and proud all at the same time.
This move from home to college is a time where parents and children redefine their relationship. Your child is now a young adult. Although the transition can be difficult for some it is an excellent opportunity to move from a demanding parental figure to a role of a close trusted friend.
Although you will miss your son or daughter, you are looking forward to embarking on the next phase of your personal life. As soon as their car is out of site you head to the garage to convert their room into that the den you always wanted. You raised your child right; and you feel – now – is the time to pursue your personal dreams.
Graduation! You just celebrated their college graduation and you are excited for them to start the next phase of their life. Unfortunately, your recent college graduate and once independent young adult is unable to afford that next phase of their life.
STOP construction! Before you begin to clean out their room and start construction on your new den there is something you need to know. According to a survey conducted by MonsterTrak.com, 57% of college graduates plan to move back with their parents after they graduate.
Why are over half of all college graduates are planning to move back home? Well according to the Student Monitor, 62% of college graduates leave school with $27,236 in debt. In addition, less than one-quarter of students and only 20% of parents say students are very well prepared to deal with the financial challenges that await them after graduation.
Moving back home. Your son or daughter is slightly embarrassed but asks to move back home. Their dream of being on their own is on hold for now; and your new den has to be converted back to a make shift bedroom. Sure it will be nice to have the family all together again; but it is different now. You know your child would rather be making their own mark in the world and experiencing true independence after graduating. Plus there is something inside you that wants the new found freedom that you were enjoying.
There is something you can do! The college debt pitfalls that are affecting so many young adults can be prevented. There are simple lessons you, as a parent, can pass on that will ensure your child has an early advantage in life. Teaching financial literacy to teens and providing your child with practical financial education skills will enable them to make it in the real world.
1) Save early. Teaching personal finance is at a young age is important. Have your child set aside 40% of the money they receive as early as possible. Since you are paying for their day-to-day needs (home, food, and clothes), saving 40% of all the money they receive from gifts or work should be a breeze. Plus, out in the real world, they will be paying about 40% of their income in taxes anyway.
Teach your children about money by getting them in the saving habit early will benefit them throughout their life. Plus, when they are contributing their own money for school it gives them an added sense of accomplishment when they do graduate.
2) Credit card education. In the dark corners of college campuses across the country – students line up to get free t-shirt, pizzas and calculators. These free gifts come with a big price; students must sign up for a credit card to receive them.
Credit card companies bribe college student with these free gifts because they know that students are being sent to college with little or no financial education. They go about racking up debt and often they do not realize how difficult it is to pay back until it is too late. Teach your children about credit cards so they are prepared when faced with the lure of a free pizza.
3) Free money for school. Scholarships and grants will help your child cut down the cost of a higher education. Contrary to popular belief you do not need to be a 4.0 GPA student and a star athlete to get money for school. There are scholarships and grants are available for people of all backgrounds. Have your child start to research financial aid opportunities when they are a junior in high school. This will free them of the debt burden so many of their peers will face.
Raising a well-rounded, financially independent young adult does take some effort; but the rewards are worth it. It begins with teaching your kids about money from a young age. Both you and your child will reap the benefits throughout your life.
By giving your child a practical financial education before they leave for college will give them a huge head start in life. You will feel good knowing you gave your child every advantage they need to go out and be financially independent. They will be able to afford the things they want and avoid the debt problems faced by the majority of college graduates. Most importantly your parent/child relationship will be able to grow naturally so you can enjoy the relationship as it matures.
-Article by Vince Shorb, CEO, National Youth Financial Educators Council, Founder / Speaker, Money XLive
Author, Financially Free by 30