Many students will first handle money without parental supervision during college. To help keep expenses down and avoid conflicts, you might want to develop a budget to guide your child’s spending. As you go through the process, consider the following: Develop a preliminary budget for the first couple months of college. After your child has lived on his/her own for a couple months, you can develop a more realistic budget. If your child has trouble sticking with the budget or can’t account for large sums, have him/her keep a journal for a couple of weeks that details all expenditures. Consider providing your child with a debit card rather than a credit card, which makes it harder to overspend. Explain the basics of credit cards. Make sure your child doesn’t use a credit card as a means to overspend. Have your child provide you with a written monthly comparison of his/her actual expenses to budgeted amounts.