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5 ways to help your child save at uni

By Save the Student 14/10/2013

Is your child heading off to university?

Jake Butler from student money website, Save the Student, reveals his top tips to help parents reduce the financial strain on students heading off to university.

When the time comes for your child to leave home for university, it’s likely to be the first time that they will be truly independent. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that your role as a parent is over.

Many students still rely on their parents for support throughout their university years, whether it’s with dirty washing or financially. Here are 5 great ways to set them off on the right foot when it comes to managing their money.

1. Instil in them the value of money

Right at the heart of any good money saving advice is budgeting

Young people don’t always learn about the responsibilities and values surrounding money at school. This is your chance to get them up to speed.

Right at the heart of any good money saving advice is budgeting. Teach your child how to draw up a basic budget and more importantly, how to stick to it.

Use this opportunity to also teach your son or daughter about the various financial products they’ll be coming across, such as credit cards, student loans and ISAs. It’s important that they have a good grasp on the benefits and dangers that are out there.

2. Understand the student finance system

It’s a good idea to educate yourself about the tuition fee system, and what your child is eligible to receive by way of financial support from maintenance loans, bursaries, grants and other student funding.

For many, there is likely to be a shortfall between funding and actual living costs. You should be aware of this in case you need to make plans to cover them through leaner times.

3. Use supermarket prepay cards

Some supermarkets now offer pre-pay cards aimed at helping parents support students with grocery shopping.

They are becoming increasingly popular since they allow you to top-up the card remotely and safely in the knowledge that the money will be spent on everyday food and essentials.

4. Take them shopping

Perhaps the best way to make sure that the money you might give your child is being well spent is to take them on a pre-Freshers’ week shopping trip to pick up the essentials.

Remember to take advantage of any student discounts they may be entitled to at particular retailers. You can find a full list of student discounts here.

5. Teach your child to cook

You won’t want to be worrying about your child surviving on noodles and beans for years, or alternatively becoming a regular at the local pizza place.

Make sure that your son or daughter has a few cheap and cheerful recipes up their sleeve to equip them in the kitchen once they leave home.

Being able to cook can save them a lot of money in the long run and will also help them impress any new flatmates!

For more ways to help your child at University, see our home insurance cover.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.