Financially Preparing for Your High-Schooler to go to College

By Last Updated: December 14, 2023
Financially Preparing for Your High-Schooler to go to College

On this episode of A Wiser Retirement Podcast, Casey Smith and Missie Beach, CFP®, CDFA® discuss financially preparing for your high-schooler to go to college and the importance of being prepared.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or watch on YouTube:


Financially Preparing for Your High-Schooler to go to College

Sending your child off to college is never easy. There are so many things to think, such as tuition costs, room and board, social costs and more. It’s important to start preparing early, so you are ready for the change. Often, your child is more independent and ready for this change than you think.

Practice Good Spending Habits

It’s really important to practice good spending habits with your child before they go off to college. Something you may want to try is getting a credit card for them while they’re still in high school. You can do this by making them an authorized user on your credit card so that they can start learning about credit. Making them an authorized user also helps them increase their FICO score. You should also make them aware of what can happen if they are irresponsible with their credit card.

Once they leave for college, they should set up their own line of credit. There are so many good options for new credit card users with small spending caps. This will help them not only build their credit score and learn about credit, but also how to be independent with their money.

Set Expectations

Each family is different, and everyone should have a conversation with their child about monetary expectations. You should come up with a plan on how much money you will give your child and for what, and what your child will need to have their own money for. Most kids don’t realized how expensive a social life can be, so having conversations about it beforehand can be really helpful. Another helpful tool is Venmo or Cash App. Almost everyone on college campuses use these systems to transfer money back and forth.

Student Loans

When it comes to picking a school, you need to decide how much you are willing to spend and go from there. As for costs, you can’t just look at the tuition price. You have to consider the price of room and board, parking fees, books, social costs, and more. They all add up.

A lot of families try to pay for tuition out of pocket, but something everyone should be doing is filling out the FAFSA. This is important in order to get any type of financial aid – scholarships or loans. Keep in mind that you have to fill out the FAFSA every year.

What is your ROI?

With any type of investment decision, it is important to think about your ROI. This is true when it comes to college as well. You need to think about what it is you want to do after college, and if the end justifies the means. If you’re not sure what you want to do after college, you shouldn’t be going to a really expensive school and getting into a lot of debt. A good rule of thumb is to look at the first year salary for your desired career, and you loans shouldn’t exceed that number.

Download our white paper on “Your Path to a Lifetime of Financial Success”


0:00 Intro

0:55 Financially Preparing Your High-Schooler to go to College

1:50 Practice Good Spending Habits

5:35 Set Expectations

9:25 Student Loans

13:20 What is The ROI?


Learn more about Casey Smith and Missie Beach, CFP®, CDFA®.


Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Learn more about A Wiser Retirement podcast and access previous episodes.

You May Also Like

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Wiser Wealth Management, Inc (“Wiser Wealth”) is a registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As a registered investment adviser, Wiser Wealth and its employees are subject to various rules, filings, and requirements. You can visit the SEC’s website here to obtain further information on our firm or investment adviser’s registration.

Wiser Wealth’s website provides general information regarding our business along with access to additional investment related information, various financial calculators, and external / third party links. Material presented on this website is believed to be from reliable sources and is meant for informational purposes only. Wiser Wealth does not endorse or accept responsibility for the content of any third-party website and is not affiliated with any third-party website or social media page. Wiser Wealth does not expressly or implicitly adopt or endorse any of the expressions, opinions or content posted by third party websites or on social media pages. While Wiser Wealth uses reasonable efforts to obtain information from sources it believes to be reliable, we make no representation that the information or opinions contained in our publications are accurate, reliable, or complete.

To the extent that you utilize any financial calculators or links in our website, you acknowledge and understand that the information provided to you should not be construed as personal investment advice from Wiser Wealth or any of its investment professionals. Advice provided by Wiser Wealth is given only within the context of our contractual agreement with the client. Wiser Wealth does not offer legal, accounting or tax advice. Consult your own attorney, accountant, and other professionals for these services.

Sign up for our newsletter!

Our latest blogs, podcasts, and educational videos delivered to your inbox weekly.