Having a child head off to university for the first time can be pretty overwhelming. In addition to dealing with all the emotions of seeing a child leave home for the first time, there’s also a lot of extra expense! It will probably just take time to get a handle on those conflicting feelings of pride and loss but luckily, there are lots of ways you can help minimize the impact on your pocketbook! Looking for ways to save on those never-ending university costs? These are three tips that may help!
Live Off Campus with Friends
Living on campus can be surprisingly expensive, especially since it often means eating out rather than having access to a kitchen so a student can buy groceries and cook at home. Instead, consider combining a valuable investment with cost savings for your child by buying a nearby house your child and a few friends can rent from you to help minimize the cost. Have a child going to school in Burnaby? Check out the real estate near Simon Fraser University to see if there’s a house with three or four bedrooms at a reasonable price. Since property near universities is always in demand, you’ll likely be able to sell the property at a great price when your child finishes school!
Borrow and Buy Used
Whether you’re furnishing that new living space for your child or stocking up on textbooks for classes, borrowing what you need or buying used items can mean big savings during that first year. Textbooks are often one of the biggest expenses during a first year of university, so if there’s no used textbook sales at your child’s school, check out websites specially designed to find new homes for old books at a great price. And when it comes to furniture, borrowing an extra couch or bed from a family member or hitting up garage sales can make creating the perfect university pad much more affordable!
Buy a Bus Pass
Between insurance, gas and the cost of parking on campus, using a car to get to and from university for a whole year can be pretty pricey. Instead, take advantage of public transit with a bus pass. The savings on parking costs alone make it a great option, and it’s a better choice for the environment as well! That doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t take their car to school at all; just ensure that the daily trip to and from class is done on a bus. You’ll be amazed how quickly the savings add up. Plus, the purchase of a bus pass is a tax deduction at the end of the year!
Of course, no matter how many money-saving techniques you use, that first year of university is going to cost quite a bit. But a few simple tips like these can drastically minimize costs. And when it comes to university expenses, every extra dollar counts! You may not be able to keep from shedding a few tears when your child walks out the door, but at least you won’t be crying when you check your bank account! And in a few years, when you get to watch your child graduate and move into their adult life, the sacrifice now will be well worth it!