While many retired clergy choose to enjoy their well-deserved season of rest, some seek ways to continue nurturing their spiritual calling.
As the new school year approaches, college students anticipate fresh starts -- new classes, new semesters, new campus activities and more. At the same time, university students also have a fresh opportunity to review and improve their financial strategies. Effective financial planning ensures a successful academic journey without excessive financial stress. If you're the parent of a college student looking to share financial guidance with your child, here are some crucial tips to help college students begin the school year on the right financial track.
Before the new semester begins, suggest your child take a moment to review their previous budget and assess its effectiveness. Identify areas where they overspent or could have saved more and consider course corrections. Use this analysis to create a new budget for the upcoming year, factoring in tuition, housing, textbooks, transportation, food and other essential expenses.1
One of the perks of being a college student is access to a wide range of student discounts. Many retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues offer special deals for students. Students should always carry their student ID and explore available discounts to save money on everyday expenses.
Ensure your child has applied for all available financial aid options, including grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. Financial aid can significantly reduce the burden of tuition and other expenses, allowing students to focus on their studies without undue financial worry. They should consult with a financial planner to avoid taking on more debt than they can handle.
While academics are a priority, your child may want to consider pursuing internships or part-time work during the school year. Internships not only provide valuable work experience but can also offer financial compensation or academic credit. A part-time job can also help cover living expenses and reduce reliance on student loans.2
Starting a new school year is a great time for your child to open a dedicated savings account. Suggest that they aim to save some of their earnings, financial aid refunds or monetary gifts from family members. A savings account can serve as an emergency fund and help your child reach their financial goals faster.
If your child has a credit card, it can be tempting to spend freely without thinking about their overall budget. They may want to be prudent and use credit responsibly to avoid unnecessary debt. Credit cards can be beneficial for building credit, but they should not be used as a primary funding source for college expenses. We recommend students pay off their balances each month whenever possible to avoid high-interest charges and maintain a positive credit history.
College campuses often offer a wide range of free or low-cost activities for students. From on-campus events to student organization gatherings, these activities can provide entertainment and social opportunities without straining your child's budget.
Students may want to check their libraries to borrow free books, music and movies and save on entertainment. Local community newspapers or websites are a resource for finding free or low-cost events.
Textbooks can be a significant expense. Students may want to consider renting textbooks, buying used copies, or exploring digital versions to reduce costs. Additionally, your child can check the library for copies of required textbooks they can borrow for short periods.
It's a good idea for students to practice disciplined spending and avoid off-the-cuff purchases. Before making a non-essential purchase, they may want to give themselves some time to think it over. Often, people find that the impulse to buy passes, and they can save money for more critical expenses.
If your child is unsure about managing their finances or encounters financial challenges, they shouldn't hesitate to seek advice from a college financial planner. More and more colleges provide financial counseling services to help students manage expenses. They can offer tailored guidance so students can make informed decisions. If you're looking for guidance on saving for your child's college expenses, remember, the services of MMBB’s financial planning specialists are available to members at no cost.
Starting a new school year with a well-thought-out financial plan will set your child on the path to a 4.0 in their finances. By implementing strategies and staying mindful of spending, your child can enjoy their college experience while maintaining financial stability.
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Translations of any materials into languages other than English are intended solely as a convenience to the non-English-reading public. We have attempted to provide an accurate translation of the original material in English, but due to the nuances in translating to a foreign language, slight differences may exist.
Las traducciones de cualquier material a idiomas que no sean el inglés son para la conveniencia de aquellos que no leen inglés. Hemos intentado proporcionar una traducción precisa del material original en inglés, pero debido a las diferencias de la traducción a un idioma extranjero, pueden existir ligeras diferencias.
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