Woodbury, NY (PRWEB) November 29, 2013
Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., provides parents with college financial planning tips.
It’s an exciting time of the year for America’s 18-23 year olds. For parents with children attending college, it’s an opportunity for families to start a conversation about budget planning.
The following steps should act as both a mediator in keeping discussions between families cordial and a roadmap that keeps the conversation on topic. Furthermore, it should help children begin to understand and be comfortable with taking on more financial responsibility.
Start with creating a list of fixed costs. Many children might not fully understand the true costs of higher education. To help them, create a list together that illustrates the costs of tuition, room & board, textbooks and school materials. Also add costs indirectly related to school such as decorating and furnishing a dorm room. Beginning with fixed costs lays the foundation for what the budget will be.
Have your child identify their sources of income. This includes money saved from jobs, monthly allowances, scholarships earned, etc. Parents should also create a list of what they think their children earn. Comparing and discussing both lists puts into perspective how much your children should realistically contribute to the budget.
Determine a list of “spending categories.” Again, parents and children should do this separately and then compare. Make lists with very specific categories as opposed to general categories. For example, instead of listing food, clothes, entertainment, and miscellaneous, be more specific. Listing, groceries, eating out, clothes, movies, going out, gas, traveling home, emergency expenses, etc, will help keep track of expenses, and help parents understand what their children value spending money on.
Develop a Budget.
This step is the most difficult and is the apex of creating a budget: determining how much parents and children should contribute to each category. Similar to steps two and three, lists should be made separately and then compared and collaborated. This process is also where the conversation can quickly become an argument. To avoid this, both parents and children need to generate clear reasoning to support each decision.
Come up with creative, proactive solutions to the inevitable differences between the two proposed budgets. Unless your child is a wise and prudent spender, parents’ ideal budgets will be less than their child’s budget. Don’t let this derail the conversation. Two suggestions that can close the gap on monetary differences are jobs and scholarships.
If your child wants more spending money, research potentially available jobs close to campus, discuss how much time they should work a week and how much money it would add to their budget. Even though jobs will double as resume builders, if your child is against having a job, don’t be frustrated. Instead, consider an alternative like scholarships.
Once the budget is agreed upon, families should determine how the child will receive funds. Budgets are commonly built on weekly, monthly or semester deposits. If budgeting is new to your child, a weekly or monthly schedule allows for more parental control. However, if your child wants to be more financially responsible, depositing the full amount at the beginning of each semester makes sense.
For many young adults, college is a first chance at experiencing financial independence. College provides a unique opportunity for families to begin open, productive conversations about finances and budgeting. If followed correctly, this roadmap will not only mitigate the number of poor decisions your children will make, but will also begin to create a young, financially aware adult.
Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C. is a Top 200 firm nationally with offices in Woodbury, Long Island and New York City. We provide accounting, tax, and consulting services to commercial businesses, high net worth individuals and various industries which include Real Estate and Health Care. We have one of the premier and most credentialed Business Valuation, Litigation and Forensic Accounting Groups in the New York Area. Our experience in diverse industries and a highly talented and experienced professional staff gives us the ability to share valuable insights into our clients’ businesses, to better understand their goals and problems and to help them attain the vision they have for their company.
Gettry Marcus is "Always Looking Deeper" to build value for our clients.
Media inquiries: Contact Fayellen Dietchweiler at 516-364-3390 ext. 225 or via email at fdietchweiler(at)gettrymarcus(dot)com.