NFCC Provides Financial Essentials Checklist for the College-Bound

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Many young adults are leaving home for the first time, yet remain ill-prepared to independently manage their personal finances. The 2014 National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC) Financial Literacy Survey revealed that the majority of adults say they learned the most about personal finance from their parents, which is true whether mom and dad possess good or bad financial habits. The NFCC provides the following Personal Finance 101 checklist of basic knowledge everyone living on their own for the first time needs to possess in order to start off on the right financial foot.

Start with budgeting
Learned early, the discipline to live within a budget is a skill that will pay benefits for a lifetime. Parents should be transparent with their child about how much money is available for expenses and jointly create a workable monthly budget. Once on their own, students should track their spending to know where their money goes and stay in control of spending. This can be accomplished by tracking on paper, using a budgeting computer program or a smartphone app. The method isn’t important, but knowing how the money is being spent is.

Respect credit
Young adults under the age of 21 cannot obtain a credit card unless they can prove ability to pay or have a co-signer. Nonetheless, many will have plastic in their wallets when they leave home. Studies show that a disturbing number of college graduates have both student loan debt and credit card debt which can prevent them from moving forward with their professional lives. However, young adults also have the opportunity to graduate with a positive credit file which could help them buy a car, rent an apartment, obtain insurance or land the job of their dreams. To have an unblemished credit report and a solid credit score, commit to paying each credit card bill in full and on time each month.

Be financially organized
Keep all financial records, bills, and bank statements in one location. A file or accordion folder in a locked file cabinet is ideal. Since spare time may be hard to come by, this system allows quick access to what is needed when it’s needed. Being financially organized ensures that bills are paid on time, late fees are avoided and the credit report and score are not damaged.

To be automatically connected to the NFCC agency closest to you, dial (800) 388-2227, or go online to

Comments are closed.