Financial Success for High School Graduates

Julia Carlson |

The world can be expensive, especially for high school graduates continuing to college. With limited financial experience, navigating college costs may be overwhelming for them. Here are some ways supportive family members can empower the grads to navigate their financial future.

Gifting Strategies

  • Cash Contributions: This classic approach gives your grad the flexibility to use the money for their most pressing needs like rent, textbooks, or loan payments.
  • 529 Plan Contributions: If there's already a 529 plan set up, which is a tax-advantaged savings account for education, contributing to it helps with future educational expenses or professional development courses .

Building a Safety Net

  • Emergency Fund Help: Offer to contribute to an emergency fund your grad can tap into for unexpected costs. This eases financial stress and allows them to focus on career goals.
  • Co-signing on a Credit Card: If your grad needs a credit card to build credit history, consider co-signing on a card with a low limit and clear expectations for responsible use.

Investing in the Future

  • Roth IRA Contribution: If your graduate is planning to have a job while attending college, encourage them to start a Roth IRA. Even a small amount jumpstarts their retirement savings.
  • Help with Internship-Related Costs: Contribute towards interview outfits, professional licensing fees, or subscriptions to industry publications. This investment helps them land the right internship and advance their future career.

Teaching Financial Literacy

  • Talk Finances: Have an open conversation with your grad about their financial situation and goals. This allows you to tailor your support and offers them a safe space to discuss their concerns. Now is a great time for them to learn about how money can work for them and help build towards financial freedom.
  • Helping to Build Financial Relationships: Offer to pay for a financial coaching program, like Inspired Wealth*, or offer to help research financial advisors that may be a good fit for their season of life. Most colleges should have financial resources available to students.

Remember, the best financial support is often a combination of these strategies. We encourage you to discuss and identify which of these strategies your grad wants to work on first. Getting a start on these conversations will help your grad feel empowered and loved as they embark upon their financial future.


Information in this material is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision. Email me your questions at or call/text (458) 777-4458.  You can also post your question on our Facebook page: or find us on Instagram @financialfreedomwmg.