Preparing Children Financially for College


Ron Blue lists a few practical steps toward financially preparing your child for college.

When children leave for college, they will be confronted with financial decisions in a much bigger way than they ever have before. They will have debt made available to them in the form of credit card applications, and they will have greater peer pressure.

I believe that you begin preparing your children for college when they are about eight years old by giving them responsibility with some amount of money.

When your child gets to high school, I think it is a good idea to give them a credit card and teach them how to use it. Remember, though, if you give your child a credit that you teach them that they can use it for convenience only, and they must pay it off every month.

Another way to teach your child financial responsibility is by having conversations with them about how they will handle their finances. Have many of these conversations as your child grows up, so that your advice is part of their thinking process.

When our children turned eighteen, we had a formal conversation with each one of them where we “cut the apron strings.” We told our children that they were on their own from then on to make their own financial decisions. My wife and I let them know that we would always be there for them, but they were old enough to make their own decisions, and we trusted them to do that wisely.

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message) 
“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT) 
“Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.”

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