GOING away to university can be a daunting time for your teenage son or daughter.
It’s the place they get their first taste of what it’s like to manage their own money.
Many young people end up living through their overdrafts, with just under half (49%) of undergraduates saying they’re always in the red, according to the National Union of Students.
Because starting uni can be so overwhelming, it’s a good idea to spend time with your kids or grandkids over the summer making a money plan.
Alex Jones, student spokesman at Endsleigh, says parents and grandparents can help by passing on their own experiences of planning and budgeting.
“If you can help them to plan ahead by sorting a budget and organising things they tend to put off – like opening a good student account and getting any gadget and contents insurance they may need – they’ll be able to concentrate on their studies.”
Here are some tips for students from Endsleigh:
Use budgeting apps
A wide range of mobile apps can help manage budgets. They tend to be simple to use and many are free.
Talk about how you manage your money
Nearly everyone at uni is in the same boat, so students shouldn’t feel guilty about swapping a trip to the cinema for a cheap and cheerful movie night at home.
Avoid nasty surprises
No one wants to be hit by a huge bill to replace a cracked smartphone screen or, worse, having to replace a laptop that’s been damaged by a spilled cup of tea. Accidents happen, so be prepared with the right insurance.
Set up direct debits for bills
For regular outgoings, use direct debits. Once the essentials are covered, nights out can be enjoyed guilt-free.
Make small savings
Once a monthly budget is worked out, students should see how much they can afford to put aside regularly. Even if it’s only £20 a month, they’ll feel much better when it comes to someone’s birthday and money has been saved.
It could even go into a fund for an end-of-first year holiday with course-mates.