Hi, my oldest is a high school senior and plans to go to college next year. does anyone out there have ideas of how and what i should tell her about credit cards? i know that once she’s on campus people are going to be right there with umpteen offers for cards. I have one card myself and she knows that i pay it off each month. since it gets paid off each month i’m not real clear on how they figure out the fees or what exactly those fees might be other than interest. I want to prevent her from getting into debt at least with credit cards. her dad (my ex) generally struggles just to survive from paycheck to paycheck and refuses to change, part of why we’re not together anymore. (Part of why he’s the ex is that he always blamed the bad financial situation on me and saying it wasn’t any of his doing just like he took full credit for the good stuff and i had no part of that.)
i’ve been trying to discuss things with my kids (ages 17, nearly 15, and 13)so they won’t make some of the mistakes i’ve made. Later this week i’m going to make them all sit down and show them my rough draft of a budget so they know where my money goes each month. it’s still a rough draft because i haven’t yet put in things like what i spend on birthdays and Christmas or for school things. some things like car license plates happen once a year, car oil changes are every three months or so, and some things like renewing driver’s licenses come every few years. also, becuase of changing tax laws i get mine done by a professional so that it gets done right and with as many deductions as i’m entitled to get, which costs a few hundred dollars.
a professional serive also gives me the security of knowing that if the irs does audit me the service will be there. so please don’t suggest an online service or software program. the professional last year got me a couple of deductions that i didn’t even know that i qualified for, which got me a few hundred extra dollars back (and more than covered his fees).