Is your child about to become a University student?
Are you worried about how they will cope with free reign of student loans and spiralling debts?
Teaching your kids good money saving habits before they leave will make the stress a little easier, so take a look at these 6 money saving tips for parents of University students.
- 1. Understanding the importance of a budget
- 2. Save on travel costs
- 3. Take advantage of loyalty cards
- 4. Bulk buying
- 5. Budget meals
- 6. Make money renting
Budgeting and living within your means in order to have a little extra money to have fun, is the best lesson to teach your child before they head off to university.
Chances are this is the first time your child will be living on their own and taking charge of paying their own rent and buying their own food so teach your child about the importance of keeping a budget.
Encourage her to transfer a small amount of money to a savings account each month. It won’t make a huge difference but will build up over time and be useful for emergencies whilst making sure she doesn’t overspend.
Make sure your child has a railcard and make sure you buy the cheapest ticket. Simple right?
OK, it may sound silly, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t do it. For example, did you know that two out of every three people could save money on train tickets with a railcard? Fares can often be up to a third cheaper than the full tariff!
Also, look in a couple of different places for your ticket – National Rail and The Trainline are the main websites to check but also try ringing a call centre, as prices may vary online and over the phone. Megabus and Megatrain are also good places to look for very cheap transport across the country.
If they are travelling up and down between university and home this will save them (and you) lots of money over the next couple of years.
Also make sure you set your child up with an NUS student card so that they can save money throughout the year.
Lots of high street brands do student discounts all year round and for just £12 a year, you can buy your child an NUS Extra card, which gives them savings all over the country on top retailers, restaurants and attractions.
There is also an international student cards that costs a bit extra but can ensure savings if they are planning to travel abroad.
Then every time they shop, they’ll earn reward points which can be used towards their next shop. It’s amazing how many of us collect up points and rewards and never get round to using them.
For example: With your Tesco Clubcard there are loads of spending options. Once you’ve collected 150 points, Tesco will send you vouchers equivalent to the number of points you’ve collected. Each point is worth 1p, so you’ll get a £1.50 voucher for 150 points, a £5 voucher for 500 points and so on. Don’t forget Superdrug, Boots, The Works, Starbucks, Costa, and more also offer loyalty cards too.
The MoneyMagpies are big advocates of buying in bulk to save money. There’s a lot of money to be saved from group discounts, free extras and simply buying in bulk.
Encourage your child to get together with their friends for the weekly food shop. They can all put in money to buy all the fruit, veg and dried goods they will need for the week and then profit from the great discounts.
Also teach them to purchase big bags of pasta and rice that can last your child their entire term at University, as well as big packs of toilet roll, cleaning products and toiletries to keep them going and cut down their outgoings.
To help ease your worry teach your kids a few simple, healthy, nutritious and very cheap meals that they can make for themselves. Instil in your kids the joy of the freezer and help them to learn some recipes that can be made in large quantities and frozen to save money.
Our food blogger, Sarah Lockett, has put together a great selection of cheap and easy meals in this ebook. Get this for your uni kid and he will be able to cook for himself on a budget throughout college and beyond. It’s just £4.99 so a great present for him.
Also persuade your child to buy the store brand of food items like bread, butter, canned goods, teas and confectionery. They’ll be amazed at how much money this can save them.
Finally, consider taking in a lodger in your child’s empty bedroom during term time. You can use the money to help them keep going financially as well. Many parents don’t feel they can afford to help their offspring with cash in term time, but if you rent out a room you will have extra to spend on them and yourself.
If you don’t want to commit to a full time lodger, check out MondaytoFriday. This website lets you sign up to rent to people who just want to stay with you during the week and will return home on the weekends – perfect for when your child comes home to visit.
If that’s not an option then think about what else you can make money from renting. How about your driveway, garage, garden, storage space, car or even your whole house!