Tips To Help Your Child Save Money In College

Kids grow up so fast! My kids aren't yet college age, but they'll be there soon, so I appreciate this post from a reader on how to help kids save money in college.

Almost two-thirds of college students run out of money mid-semester, Financial Advisor reports. Generally high costs, unanticipated expenses, and lack of adequate financial aid are just some of the reasons for financial difficulty. While starting college is an exciting time for both students and parents, it’s also undoubtedly expensive. Fortunately, there are several ways you can help your child save money, avoid debt, and live comfortably through their college years.

Set a budget

36% of university students don’t have enough money for food and rent, while 42% of community college students often go hungry or don’t get a balanced diet. Working with your child to develop a budget can give them valuable structure and help them stay afloat financially. Total the amount they have to spend each month and work out what they can afford to spend daily and weekly. Setting aside a weekly budget for fun activities will mean they can socialize without overspending.

Save money on food

College meal plans are often expensive and not worth it unless your child eats all their meals on campus. In fact, students who eat on-campus spend roughly 85% more a day than students who cook and eat their own food. Making it possible for your child to prepare their own meals can help them stay healthy and save money. For example, with a dorm room microwave, your child will be able to make plenty of healthy and filling meals like oatmeal, soup, frozen vegetables, pizza, pasta, and potatoes. Similarly, a mini refrigerator can be a great way to store fresh food and leftovers.

Provide support

Students can be reluctant to confide in their parents when they’re experiencing financial difficulty. However, attempting to deal with their problems alone can result in more debt and money spent. Encourage your child to talk to you about money matters — you may be willing to lend or give them money or have ideas on how to save more. If you’ve been to college or ever lived on a budget, you’ll probably have some not-so-obvious tips to pass on. Alternatively, the financial aid or student services offices may be able to help.

College marks an exciting new chapter in your child’s life. Helping them navigate the financial aspects can eliminate potential stress and money troubles. With these tips, you’ll set your child up for financial success throughout college and beyond.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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