It's such an exciting time for so many teens as they prepare to graduate from high school. While diplomas are being prepared, you might be wondering what makes a good gift for the graduating senior. Cash is often a "go-to" gift but instead of cash, I invite you to consider a gift that will provide them a financial benefit for a much longer period of time. It's alarming to know that the average student loan debt is over $23,000 so it's important to help our children get off to a good financial start. This is why I recommend the Graduate's Survival Guide or the Graduate and Go Bundle, both available from www.daveramsey.com to help your teens prepare for life after high school. In addition to this gift, here are a few other thoughts to consider as you get ready to celebrate their big day (or even prepare for a graduating teen a year or more from now!):
1. Make scholarships a priority. Not all scholarships are academically based so look for scholarships of all kinds and in all amounts. They all add up to help relieve the financial burden that a college education can bring.
2. It's ok for kids to work! Encouraging your children to work a few hours a week in high school not only gives them a little money to spend (and save for college!) but it also teaches them valuable life skills like responsibility, discipline, and time management.
3. Start an emergency fund now. It's never too early to start an emergency fund. Get them started now and teach them what constitutes an emergency (not a craving for pizza at 2am before an exam!) and they'll be prepared when the inevitable happens.
Share these tips with your proud teens along with the advice they'll get from the Graduate's Survival Guide and you'll be giving them a gift that keeps on giving after the celebration has faded.