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The dorm room is decked out and tuition is paid but there’s still a nagging feeling that something has been forgotten. Chances are, it’s that the child going away to college may not know how to create and live within a budget.
It’s an easy task to miss. For a student, their parents have always been there to handle expenses. And their parents have obliged, perhaps forgetting to teach their child what things really cost and how to stretch a dollar. Thankfully, it’s a problem that’s easy to overcome with five simple steps, according to Drew Martin, Northern Ohio retail market manager for PNC.
Following the five steps above will help students live within their means, but it’s not a foolproof framework, Martin said. While some students are realistic about the cost of groceries and even factor in items such as cell phone fees and utility costs, many forget about the most basic items that they’re used to having around the house - items such as toilet paper, soap and light bulbs.
Forgetting about sundries is common for college students, so Martin advises students to pay attention to the items they use every day and factor them into the budget. It’s important to also budget for unforeseen expenses such as a cracked cell phone. This will help them avoid that distress call to parents, asking for more money.
“Living on a budget sounds scary at first, but once the student gets used to it, following these steps will help them live within their means now and set them up for a more financially stable future,” Martin said.
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Online banking tools, such as PNC’s Virtual Wallet® Student, can help monitor spending. The 'Danger Days(SM)' feature shows up on your Calendar when your Spend account is at risk of being overdrawn, prompting the student to deposit or transfer money, or reconsider that next purchase.
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