DePaul University Financial Fitness > Parents' Guide

Parents' Guide

Parents: Your guidance is invaluable.

We know you want the best for your children in terms of their education — and their financial futures!

While attending DePaul, your student not only has to successfully navigate their academics but their finances, too. It may be the first time he or she has had this level of financial freedom.

Without a foundation in financial education, dealing with money matters can be a stressful and potentially damaging experience. As a parent, your student will continue to look to you for guidance. We have provided this section as a guide to the key areas your student should know.

Please encourage your child to make an appointment.

Your student can arrange an appointment with a Financial Fitness advisor if they would like assistance with setting up a plan. To schedule an advising appointment, please contact us at (312) 362-6482 or email FinancialFitness@depaul.edu.

Your students should:

Budgeting Effectively: Create a Spending Plan

We've found that referring to budgets as "spending plans" helps students better understand why it's necessary to have to structure how they spend their money. The two areas that commonly baffle students are:
  1. knowing how much is reasonable to spend for different areas of their life, and 
  2. choosing tactics to control their spending once a plan is devised.

80/10/10 Rule

To tackle the first area, we suggest trying out the 80/10/10 method for dividing up monthly income: Allocate 80% to day-to-day expenses, 10% for savings and 10% for debt repayment.

Budget Controls

Students often express frustration with being able to stick to a plan once they develop it. The key for most people is to choose a method that fits best with their personality. Here are a few scenarios and solutions. Pass these suggestions on to your student.

Example 1: Michael has trouble keeping his spending within limit (especially when using a debit or credit card).
Solution: Use the Envelope Method. The Envelope Method entails putting the monthly amount in cash in an envelope. Once the cash is gone they have to wait until next month to spend anymore. The key is no longer using the debit and/or credit card when shopping.

Example 2: Salma prefers to use a debit card but hates tracking expenses.
Solution: There are various online programs available that will track expenses and give you a summary of your spending (e.g., Mint.com). These sites require registering bank and credit accounts online so the work is done automatically.

Example 3: You or your student is wary of using online banking.
Solution: Collect receipts and/or write down expenses in a notebook as they occur. All expenses can be recorded in an excel sheet or budget ledger.​​