Financial chores to perform while they're home on break

3 Financial Tasks Your College Student Needs to Do

by Susan M. Sparks


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Your college student may have visions of sleeping in and catching up on laundry while they are home for holiday break, but there are three things you can do that will help them be better prepared and save your sanity when they head back for the next semester.

While they may not be excited about the tasks, helping them organize their vital information will help them to be more independent.

Make photocopies of IDs, bank cards, and other documents that are difficult to replace.

There's nothing like a phone call from your college student who is in a panic because their wallet was lost or stolen. Keeping a photocopy of your student's card numbers and contacts means you won't spend the next three hours searching for phone numbers and account information. Your college student should also have a copy stashed in a secure place in their dorm or apartment.

Other documents, such as health insurance information, car insurance policy numbers, and contact information can also be listed and shared. This is also a good time to have a conversation about protecting their personal information and the proper way to store their paperwork, whether it is a filing system, lock box, or organizer, such as The Student Life Jacket.


Create an emergency contact list for both of you.

Even if your college student is on campus near you, it is important to make sure you both have alternative contacts in case of an emergency. Power outages, bad road conditions, or a lost cell phone can make it difficult and worrisome when you can't reach them. Ask a family friend or relative to be the alternative contact for both of you. It also helps to get the phone number of your student's roommate, RA, or Housemother. Provide your student with contact information of other relatives they can reach out to in case you are not available.

Be sure to create a paper copy of those numbers in case their phone is lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep the emergency list with the photocopies you made in step one.

Update your insurance information.

If you have been covering your student on your auto insurance policy, now is a good time to review the policy to see if you need to make adjustments. Most carriers will have an "away at school" option so that your student is still covered but not listed as the main driver, unless of course, they have a car on campus. You may also need to update their status in order to maintain the good student discount or other related options.

This is also a good time to make sure their current insurance card is up to date. Many carriers will let you print new cards off their website.

In addition to auto insurance, your student would benefit from renter's insurance. Homeowner's polices can vary and may not cover your student's items while they are living away at school. Renter's insurance is peace of mind for a low cost.

Photograph expensive items like laptops, smart phones, and other electronics and mark with an identifiable mark or number in case of theft. Your student should keep the photos and a list of serial numbers with the other original documents. Include your student in your discussion with your insurance agent or go through your carrier's website together, so they will know what they need to cover now and when they move out on their own.


Susan M. Sparks has been a writer and photographer for over 25 years for newspapers, the web, and as a contractor for the U.S. Navy. As a military wife and mom, she organized the family's moves across the world, over 20 moves in 30 years. She created The Student Life Jacket to empower young adults to start successful organization.

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