It’s been a little while since I have talked about money!
Way back here I talked about how I wanted to give my kids some basic tips about how to manage their money; so they can learn while they are young!
We’ve talked a lot with them about debt; i.e. not getting into it. Spend within your means, save up for what you want, don’t buy on credit etc.
I’ve said some points a few times already in past posts, but some points warrant a bit of repetition since they are so important! Just some beginner, basic stuff:
For starters, get a credit card.
And, get a credit card while you are a student.
You need to build up your credit history, and the only way to do that is to have credit in YOUR name. You don’t need a big limit on the card, just take the minimum. Using this low limit responsibly will help you build your credit – which you need for the future.
It is also much easier to get a card when you are a student as they give you “student status”. Once you are no longer a student, it is harder to get one.
Having a credit card is good for emergencies in general I think and everyone should have their own. I don’t think you should even be travelling without having a card! So you should be prepared with one.
And for goodness sake, make sure you have a card in your OWN name (not just a second card on someone else’s account). That is the ONLY way to build up YOUR credit history. If you have a secondary card in your spouse’s name – it’s your spouse who builds the credit – not you!
I know you may be in the “nothing would ever happen to me camp”, but I have seen so many people (and sorry – it is often women) end up in situations where they don’t have credit in their name, and end up needing to have someone co-sign for them if they need a loan. Don’t forget, having your name on the mortgage is also not enough to build up your own credit….
A final note, for all my kiddos, as you get older and get in relationships, please please please understand how your personal household finances work. Don’t be one of those men or women who is clueless as to their household finances and leave everything up to their spouse to figure out. If you don’t want to be the one in charge of them, fine. But PLEASE at least understand what is going on!!!