Sending your children off to university is a proud moment for any parent, but the cost of helping them to study can be a real concern for families. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you anything, most would like to be able to offer some financial support to survive, make the most of the opportunities that university offers and ease their transition into the adult world.
So, How Much Does University Cost?
Universities in the UK can charge up to £9,250 per year in tuition fees for an undergraduate degree; a staggering amount of money, but one that you don’t need to worry about just yet as it doesn’t need to be repaid until your child graduates and earns over the £25,000 threshold.
According to research by the Times, the total cost of accommodation, food and other essentials sits at £26,970 for standard 3-year course.
Teaching Your Child To Budget
The cost of day-to-day life for students can vary hugely; location, the type of degree and course are just some of the factors. Surrounded by new friends and more freedom than they’ve ever had before, it’s very easy to get caught up in a pattern of going out most nights and ending the evening with a takeaway or costly taxi home. Of course, nobody expects teenagers to miss out on the excitement of university, but it’s essential that you teach them how to manage their finances to avoid mid-term money worries.
The Essential University Survival Lessons
You can start with the basics – teaching them how to cook, setting up direct debits to make sure the rent is always covered and helping them to plan a monthly budget. Most students get freshers week out of the way and then set about finding a part-time job for some extra cash.
There are some great student discounts available with an NUS card, and through websites such as Unidays and Student Beans. These offers are a fantastic way of saving money on everything from broadband to burgers and in fact, if you’re willing to be flexible, there are very few things you can’t find a discount for!
How Much Can You Afford To Contribute?
Similarly, the key to working out how much you can afford to contribute lies in budgeting. You don’t have to plan drastic lifestyle changes or cutbacks, simply managing your money in a smarter way should be enough.
There are several ‘fast fixes’ to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money, from shopping around to find the best deals to re-assessing your savings approach. Spend a few hours going through your options and looking into new possibilities, such as short-term investments which could offer much higher returns than your savings account.
You may not earn thousands but with these simple tweaks, you should have more than enough spare cash to fill your car boot with goodies and head up or down to see your favourite student!