WHAT'S ON OUR PLATE

WHAT'S ON OUR PLATE
WHAT'S ON OUR PLATE

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TRACKS OF MY YEARS

Reading corner

Reading corner
READING CORNER

Back To School.... Again!


It’s that time of year again, the nights are getting darker and there’s a distinct chill creeping into the air, Christmas is just around the corner, this can only mean one thing…back to school time!

My Three are still relatively young, but I can’t believe how quickly they’re growing up – one minute they were taking their first steps, and the next, they’re working their way through school at an unbelievable rate.

Every year when they start a new term, there’s always costs involved and it seems to get more expensive the older they get…or is that just me?

Anyway, when I was buying the school shoes, bags, coats, and uniforms ready for this year, it suddenly hit me that, if they’re growing so quickly, it won’t be long until they’re flying the nest and starting a life of their own. And, of course, that won’t be a cheap time for any of us – whether they move out, start a family, or head off to university, the costs will be high!

I was speaking to a friend of mine whose oldest son has just moved away to university and, to be honest, I was a little shocked at just how expensive it’s been for them (I think she was equally as shocked!). It's certainly changed a lot since I was studying at University.

Whilst I'm well aware that my children may not choose to head off to uni, I'm now well aware that I need to be financially prepared just in case they do.



Credit Report
First off – I checked my credit report using Experian CreditExpert. It’s highly likely that I might need to take out some form of credit if/when I need to finance my not-so-little-ones’ university experience, so by checking my credit rating now, I would hopefully have time to resolve any issues that might prevent me from being eligible!

Get the facts
Secondly, I looked into how much University can really cost. Obviously, things can and will change by the time my oldest reaches 18, but giving myself a good understanding of the costs involved will help me to plan and save.

Apparently (according to a study by the NUS), the average student expenditure for the 2013/2014 academic year, was £23, 187 – things have definitely changed since my day! In addition to the obvious things such as tuition fees, accommodation costs, and food, this figure also takes into account resources and supplies, transport, clothes, and that all important student lifestyle.
 
Start saving
Once I’d seen the figures, there was no doubt in my mind that I needed to start saving, and I needed to start saving immediately! I researched all the options available to me and have selected a savings account that I feel will give me the best possible rate of interest over the period I should need to save.

Budgeting
Based upon the rough figures I've seen, I've worked out how much I’ll need to save and by when. Obviously, I won’t be able to save enough to fund all three children’s university education without any support, and there are (currently) loans, grants, and other forms of student finance available. But, by starting to save now, I'm hoping to have as much as possible to put towards the costs, giving them the best possible start in the world!