The college application stress is now in the past.

Your student has made a decision and ordered the college sweatshirt and the end of high school is here, full of awards ceremonies, senior celebrations and graduation.

As you get ready this summer to send them off to college, there’s still plenty of time to teach your student some important life lessons — specifically about money. Even if you’ve been talking to your teen about money for years, there are still financial topics unique to college.

This might be your teen’s first time away from home and while you may be helping with the tuition bills, they will need to know how to manage their money independently on a daily basis. Talking about money can be a difficult conversation but if you engage your teen now, you’ll be on the same page about expectations and responsibilities when the semester begins.

Establish Clear Expectations

Will you be responsible for all financial needs or do you expect your student to contribute? Will your teen have a job while going to school? Is a Spring Break trip off limits?

It’s important to talk through these questions with your student so they are clear on expectations before they get to campus. For example, you may be willing to pay for tuition, room and board, books and clothing. In turn, you want your student to be responsible for entertainment, social events and meals outside of the school meal plan.

While some parents may approve a trip to the Bahamas or Miami during school breaks, it may not be how you want them to use their budget. By having a candid conversation with your student now, you can prevent unrealistic expectations and disappointments later.

Create a Budget

Most teens have little experience creating a budget and managing money. A good way to get started is to sit down with your student and go over expected monthly expenses and any income to create a budget together. You can also discuss the differences between needs and wants and remind them to check their balance before making a decision to purchase.

For practice, have your student manage a budget over the summer that you help oversee. If your teen gets off track one or two weeks, help them figure out how to adjust for the rest of the month. This will be a good way to test their budgeting skills — if their expenses consistently outweigh their income, you’ll have a better idea of the level of guidance they need before getting to college.

If your student is planning to bring a car to school, then the cost of gas, minor repairs and parking may also be factors to consider. Have your student record those expenses so they can factor them into the budget. Depending on these costs, it may also help determine if it makes sense to bring a car.

Once freshman year begins, eating at the local dive or buying a few items at the bookstore may be tempting but can quickly add up. Working on budgeting with them now will help them be responsible with spending once they’re on campus.

Keep Track of Spending

In addition to creating a budget, suggest your student track their purchases. They may be used to spending money on items such as caramel lattes or pizza after school without thinking about how these small purchases can add up.

There are many ways to track each purchase, from using a spreadsheet or old-fashioned check register to using free apps on their phone. Your teen should use whatever works best for them so tracking is easy and becomes a habit. While it may seem tedious at first, keeping a list of where the money goes can be an eye-opening experience for your teen.

Decide Practical Banking Matters Now

Will your teen have a credit card or will they be an authorized buyer on your credit card? Will they open a bank account at school or at home, or will you send money each month? Who will be in charge of the monthly card bills?

For some families, this is the time to open a joint credit card with your teen, preferably one with a limit that aligns with their estimated expenses and budget. Responsible use of a credit card will help your student build credit for once they’re out of school. If you go this route, be clear about the rules for using the card, especially in the case of emergencies and what those might be. Debit cards are also an easy way for you to monitor your student’s spending and to be able to add money if necessary. Make sure your student keeps track of the balance to avoid overspending and overdraft fees.

If your student is taking out loans, there may be a refund once expenses are paid. Have a discussion about how that money may be spent whether it be on living expenses, school supplies, books or a much-needed laptop. If the money isn’t needed, it can be returned to the lender, which saves money on interest.

It’s possible that your student will make some financial mistakes, especially during their freshman year. Let them know how important it is to talk with you about any problems or concerns right away, so you can help. Addressing these money conversations with your student now will contribute to a smooth transition and offer you comfort in knowing they’re well-prepared to be independent and financially responsible being away from home.