Life as a student isn’t cheap, which you will probably understand if you have been to college or university yourself. While a student loan will cover course and some accommodation costs, there is also food to buy, bills to pay, as well as expenses connected to transport and social activities. If your teen isn’t prepared for the high cost of student living, then he or she might well end up ringing you mid-term asking for a loan from the bank of mum and dad!
This, of course, is where you come in. With your assistance, you can do much to help your teen.
Here are our suggestions.
1: Encourage your teen to start saving money early
The more money they have going into student life, the better off they will be. They might also have the opportunity to get a fairer rate when applying for student loans, as with savings behind them, there will be less need to apply for massive amounts. So, encourage your teen to look for a part-time job before they leave the nest, give them a little something for doing chores around the home, and help them find a student savings account to maximise their savings.
2: Contribute to your teen’s college funds
If you’re able to supplement your teen’s college fund, then again, they will be better off financially when they begin student life. It might be that you start putting away money into a savings account early, even when your children are very young, as the more interest your savings accumulate, the better.
3: Teach your teen financial responsibility
It’s no good you or your teen saving up for student life if all they then do is mishandle the money they have in their possession. Therefore, read our previous article on teaching your teen financial responsibility, and give them lessons in such things as budgeting and how to make savings in their everyday life. They should then be better equipped to manage their finances without making any costly mistakes.
4: Explore accommodation with your teen
Most students live on campus for their first year, so your teen might have to put up with the costs that the college or university have set. However, it can be more cost-effective for students to live off-campus in their second year and beyond, as depending on where they are based, the monthly cost could be cheaper. Therefore, help your teen look for somewhere within their means, and perhaps use trusted sites such as Mighty Student Living, as they tend to list properties that are affordably priced for students.
5: Teach your teen how to cook
There all kinds of life skills you need to teach your teen before he or she heads for college, but giving them the ability to cook is one of the most helpful. Having the skill to whip up a healthy dish of their own, they will then be less reliant on takeaway foods and microwave meals that could (and forgive the pun) eat into their budget.
These are just a few of our ideas, but what about you? If your teen is heading to college or university soon, or if they have already graduated and moved on, let us know what you did to help your teen cut the costs of student life. We all need a little extra education, after all!
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