They’ve done it! They’ve got into university and are about to embark on a new stage in their life. But, after all the celebrations and farewells, you may have some questions about your child’s start to their new university life.

Especially in a cost of living crisis, many parents have concerns about finances and how this could affect their child’s university journey. And with all these uncertainties, it can make it difficult to equip them with all the necessary financial information they need before they start their course.

With that in mind, it’s important to ensure both parents, guardians and students are fully prepared for university finances and how to deal with costs sooner rather than later.

So, here are four practical tips for how you can support your child at university:

Get set up for success

One of the first financial steps for any new university student is opening a student bank account. As a parent, you can help your child select the most suitable account by researching together.

All of the main high street banks offer these and they can be opened as soon as you have proof of accepting a place at university (you’ll usually get this on results day). This gives you and your child plenty of time to find the right bank account for them.

Look out for things like an interest-free overdraft whilst they study. This is a short term safety net, which means if they’re strapped for cash, students can cover an unplanned expense without paying more in interest.

Encourage your child to manage their finances responsibly by discussing their spending habits and ensuring they understand the terms and conditions of their chosen account.

Don’t discount the discounts

The biggest challenge for students is often finances, but ALL university students can get discounts or exclusive offers, from food to fashion, and tech to travel. All your child needs is a valid student ID or university email address.

They should also sign up for student discount websites, which work with massive brands like ASOS and Apple to bring much-needed savings to students. Be on the lookout for transport offers, like the 16–25 railcard which gives your child a third off all train fares.

Making the most of these will help your child in any journeys with their mates, or when they’re coming home for the holidays.

Explore Side Hustles

Promote the idea of exploring cash-building side hustles, the most common types of which involve making money online. These gigs are flexible, offer variety and ensure they can stretch their funds when needed.

Whether it’s freelance writing, tutoring, or graphic design, there are countless opportunities for students to earn extra income in their spare time. Help them brainstorm ideas based on their skills and interests, and support them in setting up their side hustle ventures.

It will also foster valuable entrepreneurial skills and work experience, which at the very least are great to have on their CV!

Beat those bills

In today’s digital age, mobiles are everywhere and an essential part of university life. But they don’t have to come at a hefty cost.

Encourage your child to explore mobile contracts and SIM-only deals that offer the best value for money.
Compare different packages to find the best value for money, taking into account factors such as: data allowances, call minutes, and text messages.

But don’t stop at mobile phone deals. As your child progresses through university, they’ll likely need to sign up for a student broadband package too – and the same attitude should be taken here.


There’s no such thing as too much knowledge, especially when it comes to financial education. But the most important thing is to get your child proactively involved in this process. After all, if they’re going to leave the nest, you want them to be well prepared to take flight!