Welcome to part two of our guide to student finance for parents and guardians.
Whilst University is synonymous with student debt, at MagentaFP we believe that you can make money whilst you study. Reflecting upon our own university experiences, we’ve put together a guide to all things financial. Below are some handy financial hints and tips you can bestow upon your child before they leave for university or further study. Read on to find out how you help them save some cash and make some money whilst buying your peace of mind in the process.
Baby got (cash) back!
If your child is off to university, cash back sites a great way to earn money on their purchases. Cash-back can be earned on a wide range of items such as clothing, electronics, utility bills, mobile phones and insurance packages as well as the staple of all student dining- takeaways! Below are some of the best with each offering different retailers and various perks. Top tip: if you recommend the site to your child using a direct link from your cash back account, you can earn cash back when they sign up.
Apps such as Shopmium, GreenJinn and Checkout Smart also offer discounts in the form of coupons or cashback off supermarket items. All they need to do is download the app to their smart phone, register and attach it to their Paypal account.
If anyone asks us what we miss the most about university life, the student discount would certainly be up there. As well as being able to claim discounts in stores using their student ID cards, modern students can claim a multitude of savings online. Once they’ve registered at their establishment and obtained their university e-mail and log in details they can register for an account with Unidays and Student Beans
Earn Bucks for Browsing
The internet will be your child’s best study companion. Online learning sites and search engines such as Google Scholar will provide them with a range of learning materials. As they’ll already be using web browsers, why not encourage them to make money from their browsing time? Once installed, Qmee will reward users with cash back for using search engines such as Bing and Google. Sites such as SwagBucks and InboxPounds also offer money for shopping, taking surveys, watching videos and more. Whilst they shouldn’t distract from studies, they can provide a useful extra bit of cash.
Not strictly financial, but useful to know about, is the Student Accommodation Code of Practice. Providers of student accommodation can sign up to this voluntary code. In doing so, they demonstrate their commitment to providing high quality accommodation alongside transparently laying out the processes and procedures should they wish to make a complaint. Click here to find out if your child’s student accommodation is on the list. Read the code in full here.
Although it can be tempting to encourage your child to buy the entire recommended reading list, it’s often an unnecessary financial outlay. Get them to check their university library for copies. For absolutely essential books it’s always worth checking Amazon Market Place or EBay – just make sure they’re buying the recommend edition. The notice boards in their academic schools are often a useful place for picking up textbooks being sold by ex students. Don’t forget, they can also sell their books on again using online sites such as Amazon Marketplace and EBay.
Work, Work, Work, Work, Work.
With increasing living costs and decreasing maintenance grants, it’s hardly surprising that 8 out of 10 students undertake part time jobs whilst studying. Finding the harmony between work and study is an important balance to strike. If your child is seeking employment, spend some time before they leave putting together their CV . Having a CV ready to take with them will be an enormous load of their mind as they try to balance starting their new course, settling in and socialising.
It’s always worth having a look for local employment opportunities before they arrive. Registering their CV with sites such CV Library and Student Job will ensure that they are first in the (long!) queue for student friendly jobs. Their university may also run a job shop providing ad-hoc employment for events and open days.
Whilstmost students avoid being taxed, it’s always useful to remind your child to keep an eye out for emergency tax codes. Point them in the direction of the HMRC website for guidance. If they do find themselves being taxed, they may be eligible for a tax rebate. If they had a job before going to university and feel they may have been overcharged, send them in the direction of tax payback.