Stretch your Dollar: Talking to college-bound teens about saving money as we emerge from pandemic

Stretch Your Dollar

(WTNH) — 2020 was a year of uncertainty, both health-wise and financially, for a lot of families. Now, as we get back to normal halfway through 2021, we are stretching your dollar with why experts say this summer should be used as a learning experience for college students.

The big lesson to take in right now is your money and whether you were ready for the unexpected.

“One little mistake can add up and put a blemish on your credit report for years,” said Nathan Grant, Senior Credit Industry Analyst for Credit Card Insider.

Grant said as people get back to work and some normalcy, we should be spending this summer talking to our kids, especially those planning to go off to college in the fall.

“Whether you’re working from home or not, there are going to be big expenditures you have to be aware of. And, if you already have existing debt, now is the time to get that taken care of.”

Teach them to start responsible financial habits early in life. It helps you secure better loans and rates in the future, land a job, or rent an apartment.

Many of us are doing more shopping online. As they plan to buy books and back-to-school supplies, explain why it’s important to use a credit card rather than a debit card.

“With a credit card, it’s not your money on the line, it’s the lenders. They take care of that and fraud cases right away. Whereas if it’s a debit card. That money is taken out of your account. You sometimes have to wait weeks to get that money back, and that could affect other bills, especially during this pandemic.”

Only spend what you can pay off in full so you don’t get caught up in debt. And, reiterate the importance of saving money, even just a little bit each month, in case something unexpected, like a pandemic, happens again.

Paying on time is another one of the most important lessons you can teach your kids, as late payments can last on your credit report for up to seven years.

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