To the #MoneyConscious Parent
Spring is in the air and what that means for many families is an end to the school year. By this time, even parents are ready for school to end because they too are tired of the homework and projects, tired of being a taxi and long for some down time.
This is also the time of year when the buzz of graduation is in the air. We are not talking about eighth grade graduation. We are not even sure if that is anything more than another holiday created by clever greeting card and retail companies. What we are talking about are those who will transition to the next stage of their life, those who will join the workforce, military or go to post-secondary education (i.e., trade school, junior college, four-year college).
For those graduates, we wrote this article. It is an overview of what young adults should consider as they transition to this next stage. Almost like a cult, most high school students are expected to go to college, but with the high costs of college and high unemployment rate, especially for young adults, college immediately after high school graduation may not make the most sense.
Below are questions your student should know the answer to before blindly going to college, especially if they are taking out student loans.
To the #MoneyConscious Student
It is hard to believe, but high school is going to be over sooner than you think. Whether you are going to college, trade school, jumping feet first into a job, all of the above or none of the above, you will soon be flying solo. No more teachers. No more Mom and Dad looking over your shoulder. You will finally be liberated. In order to be successfully liberated, you will need to prepare. You do not need to go all type-A, but you should prepare.
We said high school is going to be over soon. Responsibility is just beginning.
It was recently reported that the leading cause of stress for three out of five adults is money. No one seems to have enough. This post is to help you begin to think about money eliminate future money stress.
Most people stress about money because they do not plan or educate themselves. Watching too many reruns of Family Guy eventually catches up with you. Do not being to think you are too young to start planning for your future. Planning cannot start soon enough.
Also read: 4 Ways to Subsidize College
If you are taking out loans for college or trade school (henceforth – remember that word from English class? – we are calling this PSS for Post-Secondary School), you will be taking on one of the most complex money features there is. If you are getting a job out of high school, you will need to manage your money so that you can actually move out of Mom & Dad’s house; otherwise, you may end up living with them forever like Principal Skinner.
Below are questions to which you should know the answer before committing to going to college.
What Are Your Goals?
The first things to consider are your goals.
• What do I want to do?
• Who do I want to be?
• Where do I want to go?
Sure, when you graduate high school you are going to be financially successful, but how will that happen? To decide if you are going onto PSS is one of the most important decisions you can make while you are still in high school.
What Is Your Strategy?
• Do I need to go onto PSS for what I want to do?
• Which is better for me, trade, vocational, technical school or college? Why?
• What certification or degree do I need for the career I want?
• What classes are required?
• How long will it take me?
• How much will it cost me?
• Can I afford this?
When you know the answer to these questions, you can start to plan.
If you are going onto PSS, a lot needs to happen first. You must get good grades. You must take the right college-prep classes. You must have money. And, you must figure out how you will stand out from your competition.
Now is the time to think these questions through. This is the time to paint your own canvas. If you need help, a trusted adult, such as a parent or guidance counselor, can help you. Better yet, talk with your friends. Find out what they want to do and what they think you should do. Discussions like this can inspire unique and creative ideas.
To get a better sense of the jobs that are out there, job shadow with your friend’s parents and your parent’s friends. Job shadowing is essentially following someone for a day or more while they do their job. This gives a real-life, interactive experience of different careers and can help you determine which direction you want to go.
Have a clear understanding of what your goals are and how you will achieve them. Just like driving, you need to know where you are going in order to get to your destination. There is, unfortunately, no GPS for life – not yet, anyway.
To know the answers to these questions will take you a long way to ensure that you make the right decision about what you will do next and where you will go? Even though your ideas may evolve over time, you do not want to dive head first into any decision without thoroughly thinking your options through.