By Jacob MaslowBranded Content

Before your child goes to college, you must ensure you have taught them a few essential life skills. If they do not learn them before leaving for school, they will need to learn them while learning how to be a college student at the same time. Teaching them these things in advance can make things easier for them.

How to Manage Money

It may not be easy to talk about money with your child, but they need to know how to handle basic tasks like paying bills and keeping to a budget. This is especially important for students who will receive scholarships or student loans to cover the cost of their education. These amounts must be managed carefully so the funds will last the entire school year.

Getting approved for student loans independently can be challenging, but if they have a cosigner, the application process can be much easier. One way you can help your college bound child is by cosigning on loan with them. You can review a guide with more information if you want to know more about your rights when cosigning.

Cooking and Grocery Shopping

Even if your child lives on campus with a meal plan, they should know how to cook some basic, nutritious meals other than ramen noodles. They should know how to shop for ingredients and assemble them into a meal. This can save money each year because the alternative is to order food or go out to eat, which can be extremely expensive. 

Start with the basic skills, including how to shop sales, make a grocery list, and follow recipes. Help them create basic meals that don’t require recipes, like baked potatoes or cooked chicken. This helps them create a foundation to feel more confident in their skills when it is time for them to live independently. When they move into their dorm, you might want to get them a cookbook on meals that can be prepared in the microwave. Many dorms do not come equipped with kitchens.

How to Do Laundry

If your child has not yet started doing their own laundry, this is a great time for them to start. Teach them how to follow washing and drying guidelines for their clothing and help them understand which laundry detergent types they should use. 

Vehicle Repairs

If your child is old enough to drive, they are old enough to know how to change a flat and do other essential repairs. Students going to college with a car should know how to maintain it independently. Vehicle owners should also know when to get the oil changed, how to swap out windshield wipers, and how to see how much pressure is in the tires. If your child has not yet learned how to do these things, take some time to teach them, or you could take them along for basic repairs when you have your own vehicle maintained.

Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow //