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BACK TO SCHOOL: Handling college finances

MADISON (WKOW) — College may be the first time students are handling finances by themselves, and a local financial advisor said it’s important for parents to let them figure some things out on their own.

Sarah McGinniss with Savant Capital Management said the most important thing is for parents and kids to have a conversation about financial expectations. Parents explain what they are willing to help out with and where students need to provide for themselves.

“If you come in and save them every time they’re in a pinch, they’re not going to learn as much along the way,” she said.

McGinniss explained, this is especially important for parents because at the same your children are going to college, you need to prioritizing retirement savings.

“Parents really do need to prioritize their retirement. We say, you can take out loans for school; you can’t take out loans for retirement,” she said.

She would encourage kids to help out their parents by applying for scholarships or work study.  There are still opportunities for both once the school year starts.  Students can visit their school’s financial aid office to find out more.

McGinniss also encouraged setting up a monthly budget.  Nowadays there are apps like Mint and You Need a Budget to do that on your phone.  “You can track exactly how much you’re spending on a monthly basis, and start to get a feel for — am I spending too much and maybe I need to eat at the dorms more? And kind of — where am I at?” she said.  “Just being able to track it and see it makes it a whole lot easier to stay on track.”

 

Caroline Bach

Anchor, 27 News at 11

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