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Parents: How to Create a Budget for Your College Student
Posted By Ron On March 15, 2011 @ 2:30 AM In Budgets,College,Education,Personal Finance | Comments Disabled
Okay, you did your job: You child is no longer a child. She’s grown up, has one of those “getting started” jobs, has a car that you mostly paid for, has a cell phone  that you mostly pay for, and is heading off to a college … that you’ll mostly pay for. She needs a budget  (and you do too!).
YNAB  is probably your best bet for getting a college student prepped for her financial life as an adult, but you don’t have to buy award winning software to create a budget. You CAN use the ancient technique of pencil and paper. Yes, it still works.
The most important aspect of creating a budget  with another person is their buy-in with the whole process. NOT getting buy-in is a huge mistake. Buy-in insures communication and assures your student that you’re open to modification is expenses exceed your expectations.
What’s next? Flexibility. This is her freshman year and she won’t know what to expect … she CAN’T know what to expect, and most likely, neither can you. Setting strict, inflexible limits on her grocery bill or entertainment expenses just isn’t feasible. You can set reasonable limits on her total amount of spending, however, and that’s probably the best way to proceed. Studies show that people are generally pretty good at keeping things in line financially when faced with a year’s expenses, but not so good at estimating what they’ll need next week! You probably should expect your student to be any different.