August 26, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 11 �������������� (NAPSI) Before you move your child into a dorm, it’s important to have a discussion about financial matters and your expectations regarding the use of credit and general money management. It is very important to start independence off on the right foot. ����������������������������� The following concepts can be a road map for parent ������������ and child in establishing solid financial practices. Maintaining a credit score is as important as main�������������������� taining a GPA. Discuss the importance of good credit and how this is integral to your child’s ability to achieve future goals (renting a first apartment, starting in a profession, buying a home). Having a healthy credit score ������������������ and an accurate credit report are important to establishing good credit, suggests Loretta Abrams, from HSBC - North America’s Consumer Affairs department. Help your child remember: • Plan to pay off-or at least pay more than the minimum on-all bills on time. • Keep balances below 50 percent of available credit limits (30 percent is even better). • Don’t open credit accounts that are not needed. Too many requests for credit can lower a credit score. • Request a free report at www.annualcreditreport. com and make sure the information on it is accurate. Helping your child choose (and properly use) the right Discuss money management with students credit card and build good credit habits are vital to successful future borrowing. “Graduate” your student from an allowance to an expense reimbursement plan. Rather than a monthly or weekly allowance, introduce an expense reimbursement system. In this way, you engage your child in discussions as you establish expectations, encourage ongoing communication about financial decisions, and require formal expense tracking before reimbursement. Encourage savings with a little incentive. Encourage your child to open a savings account and establish a regular savings pattern by agreeing to “match” all or a portion of the savings above a certain threshold. Partner with your child in finding the right financial institution by discussing considerations such as branch locations, number of ATMs, costs, services, fees, and product offerings. You can provide oversight by including yourself as a joint account holder. Most banks encourage online banking and have interactive sites to manage or transfer funds, set electronic limits, and avoid overdraft fees. Teach smart spending and credit use. Students should learn to use credit wisely and live within a budget. Smart spending doesn’t mean having to give up their social lives. Encourage them to be imaginative: Rent a video and ask friends to bring drinks and snacks. Take advantage of free campus activities. Shop around to compare prices on books or basic necessities. Help them retain their identity. The FTC estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identity stolen each year. Reestablishing your good credit and name if you become the victim of identity theft or fraud can be a lengthy, costly, and time- consuming process. Here are some “dos and don’ts” to help protect your child against fraud and identify theft: Do: • Shred receipts and financial documents. • Protect personal information such as date of birth, driver’s license number, social security number, account numbers, and passwords. • Conduct online business on a secure website. Don’t: • Discuss financial matters in public or on cell phones. • Write passwords or PINs on the back of ATM cards or credit cards. • Mail bill payments from your home mailbox. The college years can be a great opportunity for parents to introduce effective and business-appropriate systems for budgeting, saving and accumulating wealth. New School of Dance Arts Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Creative Movement, Contemporary Dance including Pre-School Dance for 3 Year Olds, Jr. Gymnastics for Pre-K & Kindergartners, Dance for Definition - Adult Classes, Beginner Ballet Classes for High School Students. New this Year: Yoga, Dance Essentials & Boys Only Classes. offering age appropriate classes in ���������������������� ����������������������������� ���������������������� ������������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������� ������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������� ����������������������� ��������� In-Person Registration will be available beginning on August 18 through September 10, 16 & 18 Godwin Plaza on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from Godwin Ave, Midland Park Noon to 4:30, and on Thursdays from 10:30 to 1:00. 201-444-3929 ������������������������������� ���������������� �������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ��������������