No matter how well your children did in school, there’s always a little fear that they may move back home with you after college. Thirty years ago, moving in with your parents was something you only did as a last resort. The world has changed; according to Bill Pratt, one of the authors of “How to Keep Your Kid From Moving Back Home After College,” up to 80 percent of college graduates now move back in with their parents after graduation.
How can you turn your children into independent young adults, determined to find their own home away from yours? Prepare them before and during their college years.
Teach the Importance of Savings
College life can be a carefree one, especially if your student’s bills are already paid up front. Many college students go months at a time without having to worry about money. Start talking to your student about creating a savings account before he sets foot on campus. Make it clear that you expect him to get a part-time job while he’s in school, and that he should save 25 percent of the money he earns. Explain to him that this savings account is specifically for his future home, and map out all the costs of a first-time apartment, so he has a financial goal in mind.
Avoid Financial Disasters
Javelin Strategy & Research reports that an identity was stolen once every three seconds last year in the United States, and those in the 18-24 age group are among the most-targeted groups. No matter how well he plans his future, if your student is the victim of identity theft while in college, it can take years to recover financially. In the meantime, his only alternative may be to move back home while he regroups.
Teach your children the steps for preventing identity theft: Be smart with social media, closely guard one’s personal information and keep close watch on all important accounts, such as credit cards and bank accounts. Make a habit of checking for helpful tips by reading Lifelock tweets and financial news sites. All the good planning and savings could mean nothing if he allows a stranger to phish his financial information in an email. Arm him with good information.
Does He Know How to Get a Job?
Every graduate knows that the ultimate goal of college or university is to educate you and make you a more valuable part of the workforce. While he may have learned the skills to handle a particular job, does he know how to go about getting it? Job-hunting skills are especially important in a tight economy, when jobs are scarce. Your college student needs to be prepared to stand out over all the other applicants that will be contending for the same jobs.
Teach him basics, such as how to succeed at a job interview what to wear, how to behave and how to write a stellar resume. Job-hunting is a skill they may not teach in your student’s university, so it’s up to you to make sure he knows how to get a job that will keep him out of your home.
Talk About Credit
College is the first time your student may have a credit card without supervision. Teach him about credit before she even gets accepted to the college of her choice. There is nothing wrong with a student having a credit card while at school; it may get him out of an emergency one day. If he knows that credit cards are for emergencies only, and he’s aware of what will happen if he runs up debt, he’ll be less likely to graduate with more bills than he can possibly pay while in his own apartment.