With back to school, some students will be entering their last year of high school. With college on the horizon, parents can help their kids prepare for life away from home when they're on their own. 

High school life is a balancing act of academics, homework, extracurriculars and social life. Most high school seniors manage these areas of their lives fairly well. In college, the workload might increase, but kids have enough experience to manage all demands well. The problem isn't academics, it's more life skills. 

By life skills, I'm talking about money management: balancing a check book and budgeting. Many parents are the ones who schedule their kids' appointments from a doctor's appoointment to a hair cut. And parents give their kids reminders that the oil needs to be changed or they might take the car to get serviced. 

During the senior year, it's important that kids start to manage their own lives under their parents' supervision. It would be beneficial to talk to kids about budgets, open a checking account if they don't already have one, and show them how to balance a check book. When it comes to appointments, let kids schedule their appointments. The point is to help your high school seniors become independent. Under parents' watchful eyes, teens can learn to become independent and feel confident for when they live on their own. 

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