Some of the clients you are likely to serve at some point, in your financial counseling practice, are students. The students who seek financial counseling tend to be those who are in college. But there may also be rare cases where you have to take a high school student through financial counseling. In this article, we will be mentioning some of the important things you need to know, when it comes to financial counseling for students.
Why students seek financial counseling
There are several reasons as to why students seek financial counseling services. In most cases, you tend to find a scenario where a student has lost control of his finances. This is where, for instance, you have a college student, who – try as he may — is unable to budget for his student loan. Or you could have a high school student who is unable to properly manage the little money that comes her way. She could, for instance, have recently received her monthly allowance in the form of a gift card. She could then have been introduced to the gift card website where she would be managing the card by tracking its balances and reviewing the transaction history for the card. Then, four days down the line, her parent or guardian checks the card’s Mygiftcardsite Visa balance — only to realize that it is totally depleted. That would be on account of the girl having gone on a spending spree immediately after getting the card. The parent then, fearful that the girl may be developing poor financial habits at a young age, could opt to refer her for financial counseling services…
So we find that the students who seek financial counseling services fall into two broad categories. There are those who check themselves in, for financial counseling. Then there are those who are referred for financial counseling by their parents, guardians, school authorities and even government authorities in some rare cases.
How to undertake financial counseling for students
The most important thing is to help the students to come up with sustainable ways of managing their finances. You need to avoid giving advice, and instead focus on helping the students to brainstorm/think (for themselves) how they can manage their finances better. You would then serve as a sounding board, and give a listening ear to the students, as they voice the solutions they identify by themselves. And then you would serve as an accountability partner, for the students, as they try to implement the better financial management strategies they identify.
Important things to keep in mind while conducting financial counseling sessions for students
Firstly, it is important to understand that you are probably dealing with people who have very little life experience. So you need to keep this at the back of your mind.
You also need to remember that these are folks who are still in the experimenting stage of their life.
It is also critical to remember that the students you are working with are folks with limited financial resources at their disposal. So some of the measures you’d advocate for, while counseling working people/adults, wouldn’t necessarily apply for the students.