Managing Money At University: A Guide For Parents

Education Money | by | 3rd Oct 2017

Struggling student for managing your money at uni article

Already getting calls from your student son or daughter asking for a cash injection? Then send them these great tips on how best to manage their money during the exciting years of university!

Student bank accounts

The main thing your son or daughter should look for in a student account is a big 0% overdraft. This will ensure that they don’t pay any interest on money they’ve overdrawn (up to a certain amount) while at university.

0% overdraft for money at university article

Many banks offer additional perks as well as an 0% overdraft. Santander offer a four-year railcard freebie. Another bank that offers perks is HSBC, who on top of having a decent overdraft limit, gives a £60 Amazon voucher for banking with them. However one of the best student bank accounts is Nationwide who offer a 0% overdraft with a limit of up to £500 in the first term and then £2000 in the years following. They also offer 1/3 off coach travel with National Express.

Check out MoneySavingExpert which will give you all the up-to-date offers.


They might not want to hear it, but students needs to be careful with their money from the very start of term. Budgeting can be hard in university, what with all the temptations of Freshers Fortnight. So here’s a simple three step guide to budgeting at university.

Budget advice for money at university article

Step 1: Add up the income

This includes student loans, and grants or bursaries, money they might get from you and any income they get from a job.

Step 2: Take off essential outgoings

This includes any tuition fees, rent and house bills, travel costs, phone bill and food. Basically, anything they have to spend money on. And no that does not include nights out on the town.

Step 3: Whatever is left is their disposable income

However they need to make sure they always have a little bit spare to spend on necessities and emergencies.

Another great tip is to do some research into what they can get for free or discounted because they’re a student. There are many student cards such as NUS Extra and Unidays which offer great discounts on things ranging from travel to high street shops to eating out.

Balancing work and studies

It’s important to balance employment and studies. Universities recommend working a maximum of 15 hours per week, anymore and it may start to interfere with their course.

Work - money at university article

Many universities offer on campus jobs such as library work, and having a job on campus means they’re more likely to be flexible with time off when they have deadlines approaching.

There are also dedicated student job sites such as e4s and Student Job.

Managing debt

Hopefully they won’t have any debts but if they do, managing them is very important whilst in uni. Encourage your son or daughter to have a realistic payment plan that will take into account how much money they having coming in every month.

Debt - money at university article

Recommend ways to spend money wisely. Buy more home brand compared to finest products. Make lunches rather than buying on campus. Shop at Lidl rather than Sainsbury’s. And always think carefully about whether items are necessary – want rather than need.

For more great tips on how students can manage their money in university, visit UCAS.

Cover Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

FamilyPoint Helpline

If there are any other problems your family is having, then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.

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