Essential Life Skills For a Confident College Experience: #6 Financial Literacy

Life Skills For a Confident College ExperienceThroughout the week we are highlighting one essential life skill daily, with pointers for parents of teens and college students. You can truly empower teens to be real about their lives and build the muscles for the college experience, and competent independence.


The sixth essential life for a confident college experience is:

Financial Literacy:

Parents can help develop this skill by:

  • Teaching about the use (and potential abuse) of ATM, credit cards
  • Teach about budgeting
  • Strongly encourage work experience
  •  Discuss what parents’ financial contributions will be to college and what is expected from the teens

Essential because students will be responsible for managing finances on and off campus and understanding the cost of college and the importance of his/her academic commitment.

Maureen P. Tillman, L.C.S.W., is the founder and director of College with Confidence, a comprehensive psychotherapy service, with offices in Maplewood and Morristown, that supports parents and young adults through the college experience.



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  1. Should be added to the curriculum of every public school and should be a core class from K through 12. Items such as balancing a checkbook, budgeting and saving for retirement would be introductory topics and high school grads should have a good understanding of portfolio construction.

  2. Nothing beats financial advice from a psychotherapist. Next week: lawn care tips from a veterinarian, advice for the lovelorn from a car mechanic and the local tennis instructor on how to perform your own frontal lobotomy in 10 easy steps.

  3. (prof cleaning up the coffee he spit out from reading Mr. Roo’s second sentence!!!)

    @ stayhyphy Huh? Financial literacy? Why? Kids have Mandarin to learn. Because they are way more likely to find themselves in a Chinese Providence, unable to communicate because their phone’s battery is dead, so their translation app won’t work, than find themselves out of high school having to navigate credit cards, credit scores, fixed v. variable apr’s, loans, opportunity costs, or even atm fees.

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