Preparing your child for university

by Leeds Building Society

Getting financially ready for university

It may be the moment you’ve been dreading for 18 years, but the time has come for your child to leave home and set off for university. This is an important time of life for your child and, however big they may be, they still need all the support they can get during this transition. Before you pack them off, here are a few things to double-check to help the move go smoothly.

They know how to cook

Make sure your child can cook a handful of basic meals. An omelette, a bowl of pasta, a basic curry and a jacket potato are just a handful of nutritious meals that will see them through the first semester and hopefully stop them living off takeaways. You can also advise them on money-saving tips such as batch-cooking and freezing meals for later and keeping an eye out for discounts on food and drinks.

Their phone deal’s a good one

Getting your child on a good mobile phone contract is important. While they’re living in a new city, they’ll need an affordable way to keep in touch. Check their text, call and data allowances to make sure it suits their changing needs.

They have all the right books

Some courses supply reading lists before teaching begins. Consult these and arm your child with the correct texts before they set off. Buying books online or second-hand could save you money and having books delivered to your son or daughter’s new address saves packing them.

Their student finance is secured

If your child has applied for student finance, make sure everything is in place and they have the details with them. If your child is able to pay for tuition fees outright, make sure you know when the payment needs to be made and the university has received the money.

They understand personal banking

Discuss with your child the positives and negatives of the different types of accounts available, overdraft charges and interest rates. As they become financially independent make sure they understand the risks associated with applying for and taking out credit.

They know how to budget

Spend some time running through weekly and monthly budgets your child could use. Discuss how much money they need to set aside for rent, food, clothing, travel and socialising while they’re still living with you. Having approximate figures in mind will help them make more informed spending decisions once they are at university.

Starting university is one of the most exciting periods of a young person’s life. By helping your child put the correct financial pillars in place to stay in control of money, you can contribute to their happiness and your own peace of mind.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide.