If your offspring are flying the nest next month to university you’ve probably got mixed feelings. You may feel happy for them but wondering if you’ll feel bereft/glad that you won’t be getting woken up at 3am when they come home from the nightclub.
You’ve probably also done most of the ‘utensil’ shopping and had the debate as to whether a cocktail shaker is a utensil…?!
As a Mum of two girls aged 18 and 22 and with the eldest going into year five of six years at university in London, I have a pretty good idea of what university costs! Hopefully you’ve planned for this well in advance.
If planning for your son or daughter to go to university is looming within the next year or so I’d say that financially you might want to think about the following:
- Your family’s surplus cash. It’s a well-known fact that most families spend up to the max. Life with children is expensive and their needs seem to be endless. If you needed to fund their rent for instance, typically upwards of £6,000 per annum, where would that extra £500 per month come from? Try saving bits now.
- If the answer to the above is known, it’s worthwhile looking at what sort of maintenance loan they are eligible for. This is means tested on you. So, if you have a high income your son/daughter might only receive around £3,500 per annum which is not going to go very far in meeting that rent.
- Do your son/daughter’s course timings enable them to have a part time job? Look at the numbers and be realistic with them about how many hours you expect them to work.
- Help them with budgeting. They have been used to an all-inclusive resort! Look at some meal planning, include them in some money saving batch cookery lessons (!), take them food shopping with you – explain that their budget may be a Lidl one rather than a Waitrose. Agree how they can divide their monthly spending between going out, clothes, travel costs etc.
- If their income is a bit lumpy (maintenance loan payments are) then encourage them to organise their bank accounts and transfer a weekly sum into a “spending account” so they don’t blow it all in Freshers Week. They spend a lot of their time online so this should be second nature, or this could be something you transfer for them on a weekly basis, but really the whole point is to teach them to budget for themselves.
As financial planners, Robson Laidler Wealth encourage you plan for these costs a few years before they are due to go to university and perhaps put some of your surplus income aside.
If timescales allow it would make sense for this to be invested where you have the potential to generate a reasonable return so you can grow their “uni pot”.
The whole point of talking regularly to a financial planner is to have a plan for these big life events. Get in touch with us to help you plan for these milestones and ensure you have enough finances aside.