Now that back-to-school season is in full swing, it’s more important than ever for students and their parents to think about personal finance. I wanted to share with you findings from a recent American Express Bluebird College Survey. The survey shows that parents and students don’t always agree, but one thing they agree on is that both are looking for better ways to manage finances.
Below are some key highlights from the survey:
Parents and Students Split on Expense Expectations
· Parents expect to spend $2,771 on average on back-to-college expenses for their children, but students say they expect to spend only $1,904 on average
· Parents Estimate Higher Average Spend Than Students for Housing, Fees, And Dining Plan Each Term ($2,940 Vs. $1,877)
Concerns over Money Management
· Parents and students align when it came to concerns about money management and overspending:
o 60 percent of parents concerned that their child will spend more than is available
o 80 percent of students worried that they will spend more than is available
· However, while more than half of parents believe their children are still learning about responsible money management, more than half of students think they actually handle money well.
Students Save Less Money Than Parents Think
· 54 percent of parents who say their child has saved for college this fall believe their child has saved more than $4,000; conversely, the same percentage of students say they have saved less than $4,000.
Bluebird – an alternative to debit and checking accounts – was designed to help parents and their children better manage and control everyday finances together. It’s a great tool to help parents track a child’s spending, and for children to learn smart money management, especially when going off to college.