Tips for managing student loan debt, protecting your identity and buying life insurance

How to avoid costly mistakes when budgeting
How to avoid costly mistakes when budgeting 05:12

On average, college students who graduated in 2018 owe more than $29,000 in loans. And paying off those loans is just one of the financial challenges faced by many adults.

CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger and author of "The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money" shared some tips about how to spend money wisely on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday.

Consider the whole family in college decision

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The student shouldn't be the only priority when deciding where to go to college, Schlesinger said.

"So often we're prioritizing the student, right? You say, 'Oh, wherever the kid can go is great,' but this is a family conversation that needs to happen,'" she said.

"We don't want parents delaying their retirement," Schlesinger said. "What we want to do is say, 'Here are the options for the family. You can go closer to home, or you can go to a place where you can get a scholarship, but this is as a family what we can do.'"

The conversation should be had around the student's junior year of high school, she said.

But Schlesinger also warned that total transparency about finances is not necessary.

"You don't want to actually make your kids feel your own money anxiety, but we want to have open conversations that are direct," she said, suggesting parents outline what they can contribute and what their child might need to kick in.

"Just remember this — if you don't talk about it with your kids, you run the risk that you make a decision that puts them at risk. Who's going to take care of you if you get older and you can't take care of yourself?" Schlesinger said.

Protect your identity

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Two privacy tips for everyone, Schlesinger said, are to change your passwords and set up two-factor authentication.

But, she said, more attention should be given to older adults and children.

"You need to talk to the people who are most at risk, which according to security experts is the very young and very old," she said. "That means no over-sharing on social for the grandparents and the kids."

Protecting your identity can save you money and time, Schlesinger said.

When buying insurance, stick to "simplest solution"

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Speaking about life insurance, Schlesinger said "not everybody" needs it.

"What you need to know is that if something happens in your life that ends your life early, will there be a financial impact on someone else? Your kids, your spouse, your parents?" she said. "You need to run the numbers. There's lots of calculators out there, and you want to stick to the simplest solution when it comes to insurance."

Schlesinger said people should buy term life insurance. "You buy it for the period of time where you need coverage, it goes away after that when your burden is relieved," she said.

Schlesinger's book "The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs" is out Tuesday in paperback.