Help Your Child Develop Vital Budgeting and Negotiating Skills With High School Senior Week
How to turn a celebratory vacation into a learning experience for your child.
By Mark Blair, Blair Wealth Management
Will your student celebrate Senior Week by traveling to the shore for a getaway with their friends? Along with great fun, this event provides an excellent opportunity to work with your teen to build skills that will help them become a fiscally responsible college student and adult.
Approximately 60 percent of students worry about money
Nearly 60 percent of college students said they worry about having enough money to pay for school according to the National Financial Wellness Study, which surveyed undergraduate students at 52 colleges and universities across the country. Twenty-four percent of students surveyed report expectations of $30,000-$50,000 in student loan debt and 14 percent expect to owe $50,000-$80,000 in loans, according to a national study.
Fifty percent of students surveyed are concerned about paying their monthly expenses. Such worries impact important areas of their lives as revealed when 32 percent reported neglecting their studies due to money concerns.
Help your student reduce stress
You can help your student reduce stress by teaching him how to budget money and how to effectively negotiate money-related situations. If he feels good about financial decisions, it is likely to result in more positive energy spent on course work and career development.
Use the upcoming Senior Week event to:
Meet with your student to create a budget. To be sure your student doesn’t run out of money during her Senior Week excursion, she’ll need to know where her money is going and prioritize her spending with a budget.
• Her budget should be simple and easy to execute.
• A variety of apps are available to select from if she prefers to track her spending with a tool such as Mint.
• Decide how much she wants to spend, and where it comes from. She can use wages earned, allowance, monetary gifts, or a combination of sources.
• Track her daily spending.
• Identify needs versus wants. Needs are items such as food, transportation, and housing. Wants may be boardwalk games, snow cones, or surfboards.
Practice negotiation skills with your child. Senior Week generally involves several students sharing space for the week in which legal contracts for lodging, and various decisions on shared transportation and food needs are required.
• Prepare her for negotiation opportunities concerning lodging, travel and food expenditures. Role play.
• Be sure she listens to others’ concerns and clarifies her position and goals.
• Upon agreement, move forward together.
Review your student’s performance as they return. Reflecting with your child on his budgeting activity and overall experience provides valuable insight and contributes to future successes.
• Does he feel that the negotiation process went well? What would he do differently next time? What can he do to improve his skills?
• How well did he budget based on his actual expenditures? Would he take more, or less, money on a similar trip? How can he use this experience in the future?
• Would he like to continue this activity by developing a budget for tracking daily, weekly and monthly expenses?
Be proactive and help your student learn how to manage money and negotiate effectively. It’s an undertaking that can make a difference in her future success and prosperity.
Special offer for Supporting Members: save 25 percent on a private workshop to help your kids think and act wisely about money
*This offer is exclusive to those individuals with a Supporting Membership to Main Line Parent or Philadelphia Family. If you’re not a member, join today!
I’ll help guide you and your student through the process to form a solid foundation for future endeavors. If you are interested, contact me.
Photographs courtesy of Blair Wealth Management.
Mark Blair, father of 18- and 24-year-old daughters and married for 29 years, leads this life-changing workshop — “Help Your Kids Think & Act Wisely About Money.” Mark is a proven expert, possessing both the Certified Financial Planner™ and Chartered Financial Consultant™ designations.
Contact Mark at 610-908-6271 or send him an email.