Whether you’re a parent or a student, it’s never too soon to begin saving for the future. Now that the cap on university tuition has increased to £9,250 per annum, the earlier you get started, the better. But it can be difficult to save for university when so many other expenses need to come out of your pay cheque. If you start early enough, though, you should be able to save up some financing to take care of the high cost of tuition and living expenses.
1. Start Saving Early
When it comes to figuring out how to save for university, the best advice you’ll see is to start as early as possible. Some parents begin saving even before their child is born. Even if you’re setting aside only £10 per month, if you’re consistent and save for 18 years, you’ll have £2,160 – and that is prior to earning interest.
2. Invest Your Funds
F&C Investments has an investment fund specifically designed to help parents save for uni. The Children’s Investment Plan puts your money in stocks so that when you are ready to pay tuition, the funds are there. The best thing about this option is that you can invest as little as £25 per month. However, it is important to note that the stock market can be unpredictable, so you aren’t guaranteed to earn interest on your investment.
3. Save Your Funds
If you’re looking for a risk-free savings plan, find a bank that has accounts geared toward education savings. Halifax, for instance, has fixed-term savings accounts that will earn up to 0.70 per cent interest for a two-year term. You may need to move your money around to take advantage of better interest rates as you find them.
4. Find Ways to Reduce Spending
In order to put money into college savings accounts, you'll first need to generate the extra funds necessary. Review your bank account and notice your monthly spending habits. Find areas in which you can reduce what you spend, even if it means dining out less often or making coffee at home rather than frequenting cafés.
5. Generate Extra Income
Naturally, the more extra money you can make, the more you’ll be able to save. If you’re a teenager interested in saving, consider babysitting or helping a neighbour tend his garden on weekends for extra cash. Make sure you put every pound earned into a special savings account.
6. Save Your Coins
If you regularly pay in cash, keep your leftover coins. You can even purchase a change box to hold your savings. Although this will not be as effective as earning an hourly wage, you will be surprised how rapidly this sort of savings adds up.
7. Plan for Bursaries and Scholarships
There are many scholarships and bursaries available to UK students. Academic performance isn’t the only criteria, although impressive marks in secondary school will help. However, you may also be able to qualify for specialised scholarships for your skills in engineering, golf, singing and any number of other talents.
8. Lower Your Tuition Costs
If you come from a single-parent family or have a disability, you may be eligible for a Special Support grant, which provides up to £3,387 annually. You may also see savings if you search for universities that have lower tuition fees, such as Staffordshire University and Teesside University. Even a savings of £2,000 to £3,000 per annum can add up by the time you achieve your degree.
9. Work While Studying
You do not have to make all your money before you begin university. You may actually work part-time while you’re in school, as long as you can maintain your studies. You should also look into studentships, which often apply to postgraduate students but also can be found at the undergraduate level.
10. Save During Summers
As a student, you will have long breaks during summers and the winter holiday season. Take advantage of this time to work and save money to help reduce your costs while school is in session.