Every year, university gets more expensive for both students and the parents who support them. It’s particularly difficult if you already struggle with daily costs, let alone supporting your child’s University lifestyle. We at Alexander & Co are here to offer some cost effective advice that will benefit both you and your child.
If your child doesn’t driving, then for them coming home for the weekend with the train can become extremely pricey. Make sure they apply for a 16-25 railcard. If they are coming home regularly this will save lots of money over the next few years. These rails cards save ⅓ off rail fares and costs £30 a year, or £70 for the three years. For other offers on train fare check out websites like Megatrain, or RedSpottedHanky for great discounts on tickets, especially when bought a few weeks in advance.
Every University will have a big supermarket nearby, which will undoubtedly be popular with students. If they haven’t already registered already, you can find out what the supermarket is and register your child with loyalty cards so they can reap the benefits
For example Nectar cards are a great addition if they live near a Sainsbury’s and Tesco Clubcard holders get mailed vouchers each month, which are bound to come in handy. Any loyalty card will help, even if it just a little bonus.
Make sure your child sets up a student card, as they can make plenty of savings throughout the year. All they have to do is to register for the NUS card, download the app and sign up to the mailing list.
Lots of major high street shops such as Topshop, Levis and ASOS have great student discounts all year. For a further £12 you can buy an NUS Extra Card, which offers further savings all over the country on attractions, restaurants and retailers.
A great way to find free things to furnish your child’s university accommodation is to look locally, as the price of furniture can be costly. The new Facebook update allows you to look at Facebook marketplace, where people are selling or giving away their items. This also applies to other apps such as gumtree and Freecycle.org.
Make sure it is not just yourself supporting your child’s university experience. University is a right of passage for young adults towards independence. Balancing studies and work will put them in good stead for the future. Encourage them to apply to bars, cafes and shops and enquire about work, even if it is just on weekends or holidays.
In this technological boom, we are lucky to have a wealth of phone applications that help with important finances such as bills. Make your child aware of bill splitting apps like Splittable, which will be able to provide housemates with a hassle free way of managing bills, groceries and even nights out.