“Financial Basics has the potential to make an enormous difference in the lives of college students. Research shows that financial problems present some of the biggest obstacles students face in achieving academic success, or even being able to stay in school. Knox has written a very helpful and accessible guide; it should be required reading for everyone headed off to college. Or for that matter, for anyone who’s finding that money problems are tripping them up in their efforts to live effective lives.”—Martha Garland, former Dean of Academic Affairs, The Ohio State University
Students are confronted with major financial decisions as they enter college, and yet they have little experience with personal finance. Their decisions, if not well made, could adversely affect them throughout their lives. This book is meant to empower students at the beginning of their financial lives with basic, straightforward information on managing bank accounts, creating spending plans, determining how much they can afford to pay for college, making student-loan decisions, establishing a credit history, and other money-management options.
This 2nd edition updates changes in online banking, smartphone apps, credit cards, and student loans but retains basic financial information that ensures students won’t learn about money the hard way. A chapter for parents has been added so they can help their students become financially knowledgeable, and it includes advice for parents about making decisions related to college costs. In addition, a chapter for grandparents contains suggestions on how to help college-bound grandchildren—financially and in other ways—without endangering their own financial security. A basic investments chapter is included for first-time investors.
The intent of Financial Basics is to enhance student readers’ financial knowledge and provide money-management options for finding their own best way to become masters of their money.
Prior to devoting herself to writing, Susan Knox was a CPA, financial planner, and university administrator and accounting faculty member.
Preparing to Go to College
1 My First Checking Account
Building money-management experience with a checking account before leaving for college
2 First in the Family
Gathering information about potential college choices, seeking out experienced help, and student financial aid resources
3 Budgeting for College
Creating a realistic spending plan, simple ways to monitor spending, and understanding your financial nature and personal spending patterns
While in College
4 Facts of a Financial Life
The basics of money management so you don’t have to learn the hard way
5 Know What You Owe
Ways to determine how much you can safely afford to borrow for your education, being smart about choosing your loan package, and the consequences of dropping out of school
6 Credit Card Phobia
The pros and cons of credit cards so you can be cautious about credit cards without being afraid of them
7 Spend, Spend, Spend
The pitfalls of trying to keep up with others who have more money, techniques for dealing with this, and how ignoring the rules for debt and student loans can change your life
8 Building a Credit History
Why you need a good credit history, how your credit score is determined, and how to ensure you leave college with a good credit rating
9 Car Crazy
How to make decisions on acquiring those extra things you want but may not need for college
10 I’ll Think About It Tomorrow
The dangers of ignoring financial responsibility and how to cope with the habit of procrastination
11 Now Where Did I Put That?
What documents to save, how to store them, and security issues for your sensitive financial information
12 What’s Next?
Financial planning for life after school—establishing priorities, debt payoff plans, savings plans, and retirement plans
13 Investment Basics
First steps in starting an investment program
Before, During, and After College
14 Your Personal Money Philosophy
Developing principals to guide you through your financial life
15 Your Story
Recording your money-management experiences as a way to pinpoint your financial strengths and weaknesses
16 A Note to Parents
Financial considerations for parents with college-age children and ways to help their student understand money-management issues
17 A Postscript to Grandparents
Ideas for grandparents who want to aid their college-bound grandchildren—financially or in other ways
Glossary of Financial Terms
Helpful Apps and Websites
When Kids Go to College
A Parent’s Guide to Changing Relationships
Barbara M. Newman and Philip R. Newman
An Illustrated History
Raimund E. Goerler