Sending the Kids to University-Money Do’s and Don’ts

With most students struggling to pay bills and rent with just their student loans, how exactly should we support our children without becoming a nonstop cash machine?
Aug. 23, 2012 - PRLog -- You’ve saved up to pay the fees, packed up their bags and now your child is finally on their way to University, but with most students struggling to pay bills and rent with just their student loans, how exactly should we support our children without becoming a nonstop cash machine?
Going to University can be one of the most essential career steps in a young person’s life, but with recent jumps in university fees, a lot of us are left coming up short with all of our (what would have previously been substantial)  savings heading directly to the University. But of course, the fees are not the only thing that needs paying. Few students are finding their loans substantial enough to pay for university accommodations, food and entertainment, but how do we prevent the need for constant financial boosts from us, the parents? Here are our essential tips for making your money last that little bit longer:
•   You don’t have to buy EVERYTHING before they leave.
Although making sure your child is well prepared before they start their journey at university is vital, not everything is needed straight away and at brand new prices. It’s likely your child will receive some sort of essential book list for the year before term starts. This is not the time to run out to the nearest book store and start spending, many textbooks can cost up to 40 pounds! Try checking eBay for used copies, most will probably be in good condition and at half the price. Many University departments hold book sales one or two weeks into the term which provide used books at reduced prices, so hold off! If your child doesn’t have the text book on the first day of term, it’s no disaster!
•   Send them their groceries online.
Its 6pm and your child has no money for food the next day, it can be tempting to pop on the computer and transfer some quick cash across, but when the money goes in, how can we make sure they spend the money on the essentials? Using online supermarkets can be a great way to make sure your child stays fully stocked with food and that its all stuff you approve of! Most charge a fee of £5 pound for delivery but if your child can get their housemates to join in on the online shopping this usually gets reduced to around £1 per person!
•   Shop wisely for essentials
Many price comparison sites and voucher sites can really help lower the costs of everyday items as well as those big spends like laptops and televisions. Sites like combine price comparison and voucher codes to provide a service that’s simple to use and saves you pennies almost every time! There’s no need to rush into big purchases, but these sites make shopping around quicker and easier!
•   You’re not the only one who needs to budget.
Most importantly, teach your children to budget BEFORE they get to University. For most this will be the first time they’ve had to be responsible for all aspects of their wellbeing. In the university environment it’s important we teach them how to handle their cash responsibly in a place full of temptation to splash the cash! Go with them to choose the correct bank account for their time at university, set suitable overdrafts and try to check up on how their doing, a lot of children don’t want to tell their parents when moneys tight!
No one wants their child running out of money and with these useful hints, both you and your child can stay in the green all year round!
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Page Updated Last on: Aug 23, 2012
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