We all want an excellent education for our kids. But when that education costs tens of thousands of dollars a year, the financial and emotional burden can be high. University costs can put a real spanner in the works of those trying to get by on a limited budget. But it’s not all bad news. Thanks to the rise of the internet, there’s now plenty of advice for parents to save money on university costs. Here’s a sample of the best advice out there on the web right now.
Give Help With Budgeting
When your child goes to university, it’s probably the first time in their life that they’ve had to manage their own finances. They’ll be responsible for paying their rent, buying food and, sometimes, running their car. With that in mind, it’s important that they have some financial education. It’s easy for young adults to fly off the rails and spend like crazy. And they can soon lose track of how much they spend each week. Although it’s still possible to get student loans with bad credit, a bad credit score can hurt future borrowing prospects.
The first thing to do is to focus on budgeting on a weekly or a monthly basis. Your child should have a set weekly allowance for food, rent, and other bills. The next thing to do is to encourage them to partner up with the other students in their house or flat to buy food. Buying food together helps to cut down on waste and saves on cost. They can also do things like buy big bags of pasta together that will serve all of them throughout the term.
Buy Them A Student Cookbook
Student food costs can quickly get out of control if your child is regularly opting for fast-food options. Thus a student cookbook can be a great way to keep their food budget in check. What’s more, cooking from a cookbook helps them to make healthier food choices and learn how to cook. There are all sorts of cookbooks around, including those that cater to individual dietary needs. If you really want to do things on the cheap, you can encourage them to use free apps, like Yummly and Feastie. These apps are especially useful because they allow you to search for recipes based on the ingredients you have in the cupboard. Less wasted food means lower food costs over the long term.
Some students can get accommodation in the university grounds. Often, the price of renting a room on campus includes the cost of bills. But as soon as students go off campus, they’ll be expected to pay bills separately. And when there’re lots of students living in the house, this can be difficult to organize.
Make sure that your child is only paying their fair share of the bills by encouraging them to use apps like Splittable. Splittable includes a timeline of upcoming household expenses. And it allows students to break down their spending on bills into utilities, food and nights out. The app then tracks who is in debt and who is in credit, so everybody can see where they stand at the end of the term.
Rent Out Their Old Room
With the rise of sites like Airbnb, renting out an unused space in your home has never been easier. When they leave, you’ll probably have a room spare in your home that you could offer to a lodger. Then, you could share the additional income with your child to help pay for their university bills.
Right now, there’s a significant demand for accommodation from international students. Try to get somebody who has similar term times to your child to avoid clashes when they come back for the holidays.
Get Them A Job
In the past, students used to work in the holidays, and that would pay all their expenses, including tuition, throughout the year. Thanks to the financial incentives facing universities and higher tuition fees that is no longer the case. But students who work during the holidays can still do a lot to improve their financial position. Student loans will cover the costs of fees and accommodation. But working during the holidays should pay for all their food, fuel and nights out throughout the year. The best seasonal work is offered by bars, cafes, and restaurants. Universities themselves may also provide work that fits nicely around term times. Plus, local shops will regularly advertise for people who are willing to work on weekends.