In a little less than month, college students will return for the fall semester. Is your teen heading to college for the very first time with them? College is the first time many have to figure out how to manage their own money without the help of mom and dad. Before you send them off, help them with a financial plan. Here are some tips to teach your teens before they go:

Create a Budget
Sit down with your teen and help them create a budget. Set aside funds for meals, entertainment and school supplies. Teach them how to login to online banking to monitor their funds and help them set up bill pay so they don’t forget which bills they need to pay. Don’t forget to download the mobile app to track expenses easily. You can learn more about Sikorsky’s Online Banking features here.

Buy Used Books and Sell Your Old Ones
College books can be a huge expensive, if it’s an option, try buying used. Check out the university bookstore and online retailers like Amazon. A lot of used books tend to be gently worn and are much cheaper than the new version.

Cook At Home
College meal plans can get costly. While it’s not always realistic to cook all meals in a dorm room, try to do a meal plan for only one or two meals per day. Your teen could either do a big breakfast and big dinner at the dining hall and make a sandwich at lunch or grab something quick for breakfast while eating lunch and dinner at the hall. Either way, cutting out one of the three meals will save a lot of money in the long run.

Learn the Credit Card Dos and Don’ts
While it can be beneficial for a teen to have a credit card for emergencies or to build credit, teach the do’s and don’ts. Go over what is an emergency and what isn’t. It may be helpful to show how much a small purchase can cost overtime if you only pay the minimum owed each month.

Find a Job
Finding a job on campus or near by will help your teen in the long run. Not only will they be able to save more money, but it will help them build a resume for their post college life. While this can be a lot with the transition to college, doing a shift or two per week is usually feasible.

Take Advantage of Student Discounts
College towns are loaded with discounts, so if your teen plans to go out to dinner, it’s always good to ask!

Buy Used Furniture
If your teen plans to reside off campus, check out local tag sales or Facebook marketplace to save on used furniture. Most college students will ditch the furniture they use once they move out, so don’t pay a ton for something that is only needed for a few years.