Perfect Care Package for Your College Freshman

M&M's are perfect for a college care package.Everyone in your family is known for something specific.  If you need any guidance on any specific area, chances are that someone in your family knows more information on that subject than you would ever dream possible.

Now this may sound unimpressive, but I have been known to send an awesome care package for those who go off for their first year of college.

This may not seem like something that you would need guidance on.   But, like any other subject matter, there is an art to combining all of the items for each recipient and knowing their likes and preferences.  There is nothing like the joy of opening a package filled with the things that remind you that someone is thinking about you, especially during the first few months of college.

As I think about all of the items that could make up the “perfect” care package, there are some that would fit the bill for just about anyone.  M&M’s, popcorn, gummy bears, homemade cookies, hot chocolate, and mac n cheese!  OK, so these aren’t so healthy but you can add some healthy alternatives as you go along.  The newest magazine that you know that they would love or a new movie to watch on a Saturday night could also be added to the box.  A framed picture of the family pet can also be included (because you know that they will miss the dog at least as much as they miss you) .   And of course, some money for the weekend adventures would always be appreciated!

If I was making a financial care package for a freshman in college, here are some of the items which I would include to help make their freshman year a “financially” smooth one.

1)     Establish a Budget – Learn how to keep track of your spending so that you are aware of your expenses.  Most freshmen do not have any experience in balancing a checking account.  Online banking is a helpful tool to keep up with your expenses and is easy to use.  There are also services available such as mint.com that will help you set and keep a budget.

2)     Credit Cards  –  It is usually a necessity to have a credit card, but only have one and make sure that you stay on top of your bill. You can begin to establish a good credit rating if you make sure that your bill is paid on time.

3)     Bills  – Make sure that any bill that you have (cell phone, utility bill, electric bill)  in your name is paid on  a timely basis each month.  Your credit rating is being established and you do not want an unpaid or late bill from your college years to affect your future credit score.

4)     Rent your College Books  –  A good way to save some money is to look into renting text books instead of purchasing them.  It is also a good idea to look into purchasing your text books for your Kindle or I pad.  This can help lower your expenses.

The first year of college can be a scary and unfamiliar place for most eighteen year olds, but having a “care” package will make the transition an easier one.  So what are you waiting for…

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About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN

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