If your child has reached the age of 18, chances are they’re about to exit compulsory education and are considering their next steps in life. While university isn’t for everyone, you may find that this is something that interests your kid and that they set their heart on. Now, students don’t tend to have all too much money available to them. This is a well known fact. After all, the average student will get by on student loans, which aren’t all too generous, and still has to pay general living costs such as accommodation, food, energy bills, phone bills and social activities, the same as any other adult does. So, you may want to take this opportunity to help your child to create a budget for their university experience. Chances are this is going to be the first time that they’re fully responsible for their own finances and the first time that they’re fully responsible for the bills that they create. A little help is a good idea to prevent them from sinking into debt. Here are some steps you can guide them through.
Figuring Out Their Budget
Your child is going to have to create a budget. But before they can do that, they’re going to have to know how much money they will have available to them.The vast majority of students will apply for a student loan, which will be means tested based on your income. If you have a low income, they will receive a larger loan. If you have a high income, they will receive a smaller loan. You may find that you need to contribute from your own income to help them get by. In either scenario, it’s always worth seeing whether they can apply for any scholarships or grants which can help too.
Finding Appropriate Accommodation
Once your child has a set amount that they will have available to them to live off, it’s time to find appropriate accommodation. Very few students live alone, as house sharing tends to be much cheaper and more affordable. Help them to start browsing private student accommodation until they find something that suits their budget and preferences. Include the cost of bills, so they know their general living costs.
Figuring Out Course Costs
Most courses are paired with some costs – some courses more than others. Academic courses may require textbooks, which might not always be available in the university library. Practical courses may require materials and tools. Often, you can help your child to reduce costs by buying these things secondhand or (in regards to materials) in bulk at the start of the year.
Attributing Money to Socialising
Once the essentials are covered, your child will be left with disposable income that can be used for socialising, activities, or whatever else they please. Advise that they avoid spending more than there is available, as this can lead to debt, which is extremely difficult to get out of when studying full time.
The above steps are simple, but remember that this is going to be entirely new to your child. Guide them in the right direction and give the right advice and their overall experience of studying should be a whole lot more comfortable and positive!