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Unexpected costs at university; how to prepare your children?
Going to university is daunting – not just for new students, but for their parents too! As term time approaches, we’ve come up with some ‘fresher’s’ tips to get your kids through uni without blowing through all their cash in one go. Hopefully this will give you some piece of mind as you send them onto their next big adventure.

 

1. Freshers’ Week  

From fun societies to sporting events, freshers’ week has it all at your kids’ fingertips! It’s tempting to advise them to make the most of uni and join every single society, but memberships are often not free and can take their toll on the bank account. Will your kids even have the time to go to a stack of club meetings when the real hard work kicks in? Perhaps suggest that they be selective and only join what they see themselves getting involved in for the long term.

The Independent has some top tips for surviving freshers’ week with some cash in hand.

 

2. Cooking

Whether your children are budding MasterChef candidates or have absolutely no interest, cooking is an essential skill to survive at uni. To help them make it through 1st year, BBC Good Food has a range of cheap and easy student recipes for all abilities.

 

3. Travel

A simple trip home for the weekend can end up costing a packet. Many students don’t have the luxury of owning a car, so rail or coach is the only option. Talk to your children about ways to keep their finances on track by locating cheap fares. Money Saving Expert has plenty of tips to tell your children including setting up a free alert when cheap tickets are released. We never knew it was that simple!

 

4. Accommodation

Freshers don’t have much choice on where they end up, but when it comes to 2nd year, students have the freedom to select their own house. Just making sure that absolutely everything, and we mean everything, is down on the inventory can avoid endless arguments on who’s paying for the broken wardrobe. Check out Save the Student to recommend pointers on how to save money and more importantly avoid your kids being ripped off before signing on that dreaded dotted line.

 

5. Graduation

It may seem like a long way away, but graduation will be upon you before you know it!  At last you think you’ve escaped advising your kids to not spend their cash all at once however hiring a gown, extra tickets for grandparents and graduation outfits are all unavoidable costs. The Guardian has some handy tips on how to budget while still making sure they mark the occasion in style.   

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