Friday 28 October 2022

How To Budget for Your Child’s University Degree

 **Collaborative Post**

When it comes to paying for university in the UK, we are definitely luckier than in some other countries, even if it doesn't always seem like it. In many cases, the cost of tuition is paid directly to the college, and then, once the student graduates, they will pay this loan back – assuming they earn over a certain amount. 

(Image credit - Skitterphoto)

However, even if tuition is paid for (and it won’t always be, as it depends on the specific individual circumstances), there are still other costs involved such as products, books and study material needed for the course plus things like accommodation if you are studying away from home. These costs usually fall to parents to pay, or for your child to try juggle studying with a job to pay for it themselves. Therefore, it’s a good to know what the costs involved are in advance and ensure you budget for them even before you know your child is going to university – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Read on to find out more. 

Start Early

One of the best things you can do when it comes to saving up money for your child’s university education is to start as early as possible. The earlier you start, the less of a worry it will be, and, of course, the more money you will save. 

You might, for example, start to put money aside as soon as they are born. You can open a special savings account or an ISA and put a small amount of money into it every month. Just a few pounds – money you won’t miss – will certainly add up to something very useful if you start right at the beginning. Even if they decide not to go to university, the money can still help them start their own business or buy a house or a car, for example. 

Know the Costs

Another helpful tip when it comes to saving up the money your child will need is to know how much they will actually need. Once a year, check out the cost of textbooks (generally speaking, unless you know what course they will be taking), student accommodation, transport, and so on. In this way, you’ll know what they will need to live on, and you can adjust your saving goals accordingly. 

Get the Kids to Help

Perhaps you pay your children pocket money, or maybe they are older, and they have a part-time job. In either of these cases, you could ask them to add to your savings – after all, this is money for them, so it makes sense if they can give you something towards it. 

The best thing to do is to sit down with them and talk about their plans. Then take a look at the costs we mentioned above with them. This will help them understand the kind of money they will need, and between you, you can work out a way for them to contribute. Again, just a few pounds a month can make a big difference until they find their feet at university and perhaps get a part-time job to fit between classes. They will likely also feel proud at the end of it all when they receive the money knowing that they helped contribute to it in the first place, as a side note this is also a good way to introduce the idea of savings and money management to children too.

Look at Your Spending

It’s fun to spend money, and it’s something most people like to do, but if you are saving up for something specifically (in this case, your child’s university costs, but it could be anything), then it’s a good idea to look at any spending and see what you might be able to cut. Of course, saving for something big like university is a big goal so try to be realistic when it comes to what you are cutting out. Making but cutbacks might feel like a huge accomplishment to begin with but if those changes aren't manageable long term, it won't last very long. Instead think about small, simply things you could cut back on, unnecessary things like having one less takeaway a month or cancelling a monthly subscription you never use.

This is a great lesson to teach your children, too – it’s something they might need to put into practice when they get out in the real world.

Have you had to save for anything big recently? Perhaps your own child's university fees or a deposit for a new home? Let me know what tips you have been using to help boost your savings goal in the comments below.


No comments:

Post a Comment