When it comes to SAT prep, college applications, and even sex, drugs, and dorm living—parents spend hours drilling lessons into their kids’ heads. But Mom and Dad tend to avoid one taboo topic: money. Putting off this conversation could lead to big-time financial mistakes, especially for college-bound kids who are testing out financial independence (to varying degrees) for the first time.
Some popular questions parents ask me: How do I teach him how to make a budget on the drive to college? (He doesn’t even do his own laundry!) Should I give my kid a credit card? What do I need to know about debit cards? Should he open a bank account near campus? Does she have to study a subject that she thinks will help her get a job—say accounting—in order to pay her student loans? Will working part-time hurt her grades? Should I let him stay on the family cell phone plan?
Lots to consider! That’s why I went going on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” today to give advice and answer listener questions—tune in and post any remaining questions here.