Preparing for Parents to Cut You Off | What to do When It Happens
Can’t stay lucky forever
Most college students get financial help from their parents. It’s perfectly normal and widely accepted, but it can give people a false sense of security and a skewed vision of financial responsibility.
If you’re one of those people who is lucky enough to get help from your parents, be grateful and don’t take it for granted. Also, know that the funds can’t keep flowing forever, and you should start now on your path to financial independence.
Develop good habits now
The good news is that after you graduate college and your parents inevitably stop giving you or even lending you money, there are money lenders out there who will help you out with short-term loans, payday loans or installment loans.But we’ll talk about that later. Short-term lending should only be used as a last resort.
The best thing to do is to avoid getting into financial trouble by developing good spending and saving habits. So just because your parents can or will bail you out if you run out of money, don’t lean too heavily on that crutch. If you make a habit of spending all of your money and then running to your parents for help, you’ll continue to run out of money after the First Bank of Mom and Dad is closed.
It’s OK to be a poor college student
It can be very tempting to spend freely on food, fun and cool stuff in college. I should know. I spent money on expensive jeans, furniture and nights out on the town. When I ran out of money and needed something important, my parents were there to help.
Thing is, if I hadn’t spent my own money on stuff that was unnecessary or more expensive than it needed to be, I wouldn’t have needed to mooch off my parents. At least, not as much. The earlier you start clipping coupons, checking for sales at the grocery store and pricing out different options when making purchases, the easier it will be. Learn to budget your discretionary expenses like going out to dinner and other fun activities with friends, or learn to suggest cheaper alternatives when coming up with ideas for what to do with your friends.
The long term
Once you develop bad spending habits and patterns they’re hard to break. College students dream of getting done with school and ditching the part-time job for a full-time, bona fide, “adult” job. However, if you don’t manage your money well, the struggle will continue.
For most people, once they are done with college, Mom and Dad pull the plug on the money machine. That means you don’t have a backup if you spend everything in your checking account. If you start developing good financial habits now, you won’t end up needing payday loans when you “grow up.”
Of course, sometimes even the best planning and budgeting can’t prepare you for everything that life throws at you. Luckily, if you do need cash fast and your line of credit at Offspring Credit Union has been cut off, you can get a short-term loan. Payday lenders will spot you a few hundred bucks to get you through until your next paycheck.
Payday loans and short-term loans come with fees and conditions, though. Make sure you can pay back your loan on time and you have enough money in your next paycheck to cover fees, your full loan amount and the rest of the expenses and bills you have to take out of your paycheck. Payday loans should be a once-in-a-while thing, not another crutch.