mum and son

How to ready your teens
for the university money maze

Going to uni is an exciting experience, but it can be daunting too. Read our top tips on how to help your child be better financially aware while they are away.

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* 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.

* We’re not responsible for the content of other websites.

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