You’re about to discover the upsides of your son or daughter heading off to university: a full fridge, an even fuller wallet, and a tidy bedroom. But we know you’ll have one or two worries, including their inevitable discovery of their bank’s overdraft facility. Here are a handful of helpful tips to encourage your child to be financially sensible while enjoying the thrills of new friends and late nights…
Tip #1 – Kick-start cash:
If possible, make sure they have a little money to cover the first couple of weeks (their student loan can take up to a week to clear).
Tip #2 - Work out a budget:
You can help prepare your teenager for dealing with money matters by encouraging them to write out a realistic budget for life at university. As well as the essentials, think of future costs that might hit and plan them in too – for example, the deposit for their second year accommodation. Build in putting away a proportion of their part-time earnings into a savings account, so they build up a rainy day fund – it’ll help them see that their overdraft should be used for emergencies only.
Tip #3 - Research bank accounts:
Don’t simply set up an account – make sure they have a good look around and compare deals, freebies and interest rates – then pick the best overall account.
Tip #4 - Look out for deals and discounts:
Make the most of student travel – sign them up to a rail card, and don’t forget to pick up their student NUS card. Check out other discount websites like vouchercloud* and student money saver sites.
Tip #5 - Part-time working:
If they’re lucky enough to have a part-time job now, see if they can request a transfer to where they’ll be based. Don’t forget they’ll also be able to claim back tax if they earn less than £11,000 a year. See the gov.uk* website for more information.
Tip #6 - Get the right amount of insurance cover:
Some student halls of residents already have home insurance contents cover – if you think you’ll need to look into getting cover you may be able to extend your contents cover, or check with the university to see what deals they can offer.
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