NEW JERSEY 101.5

A few months into their first year at college, a number of freshmen are learning they weren't properly prepared to take on the financial responsibility that comes with independence.

From a first-ever debit card, to a buffet of opportunity to "spend, spend, spend," students are facing potential pitfalls left and right, without Mom and Dad right there to help them out.

Campus of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ (Townsquare Media)

"It's very easy to overspend, but gaining control and responsibility over your finances is a huge challenge," said Michael Kay, president of Financial Focus in Livingston. "It's part of maturity; it's part of growing up and being self-sufficient."

Luckily for students, the state has tightened the leash on credit card solicitation on college campuses. Still, they're encountering costs they may not have considered before year one at school, like meals outside their plan, and doing a load of laundry.

Parents play an important role in making sure their children are ready to take on new financial hurdles, according to Kay.

"The plan should start off with a discussion. What is a reasonable budget over what period of time?," said Kay.

Parents may also consider having access to their child's accounts, either at the bank or online, until they're certain it's safe for them to act on their own.

Kay said poor money habits will "dog you until you change them," and children tend to learn their money manners from what they see at home.