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Newbie- financial advice required!(22 Posts)
I'm a bit of a uni dunce I'm afraid as neither me or DS's dad went to Uni. So sorry for really thick questions.
DS is not good with money, he has ADHD and OCD which make it quite difficult for him. We're doing certain things to help him- part catered accommodation so he hasn't got to budget too much for food, and a pre-paid bus card. He'll be paying the accommodation costs in full at the start of the year from his loan so he can't blow that money. And his living expenses (which I will be paying) I was thinking of pinging to him weekly. But all the student bank accounts seem to positively encourage huge overdrafts. He doesn't want the temptation of that, but my question is, how do other parents try to help when their son/daughter is not good with money?
I don't want him getting into serious financial difficulty, nor do I want to be bailing him out every five minutes. I know the advice is 'they're adults now and need to learn', but what if they have issues that make it much harder to budget?
Any advice welcome
He'll be paying the accommodation costs in full at the start of the year from his loan so he can't blow that money.
Maintenance loan (assuming that you live in England, anyway, not sure about the Scottish / Welsh / NI system) is paid in termly instalments, though.
As pp said, the loans etc come each term, they don’t come at once, And the amounts are not spread equally either, although they will tell you when to expect them on his financial form.
Depending on when you applied for university, if you applied late for example, they may not arrive until the end of October, so you will have to pay/fund for your ds until they come through. I know when I started my last degree (4 years ago), there were two on my course that did not get theirs through until November, as they were late applicants. Obviously if you applied on time, it will be the first few days after registering at university that they are through.
I see- that makes sense, thanks. He has just applied for the loans now that his place has been confirmed, we didn't realise you should apply for them earlier.
A kind poster on another thread just told me that May was the deadline for guaranteeing loans at the start of the term. Pity I didn't know that. Either it wasn't made clear or it was made clear to DS and he's forgotten. This is what I mean- if you have an 18 year old with mental health issues, the parent is left scrambling around for info trying to pick up the pieces
With all respect, the info is all on student finance. So soon as year 13 starts, that’s when you start looking at universities, putting together all the information and student finance is a big part of that, and they will all tell you to apply in good time- even if your child is not going, as it’s easier to pull out, than to not have any money for a while.
Well I must be thick then as I can't see anywhere that it says the deadline was May.
Bit late to be double checking SLC - never mind, it be aware you may need to stump up accommodation costs if his loan is late, which it may well be. He'll need to reapply each year btw.
Would a monzo card help? He can use it to set weekly spends on particular categories and the app tells him if he's near his limit.
Yes student bank accounts come with overdrafts but they don't have to be used. Neither of mine has ever been overdrawn.
In your case I'd consider sending him an allowance weekly rather than monthly / termly.
Do you know how much loan he will get? There are lots of calculators online. If you have a high income he may get the minimum which won't cover his rent. Or if you have low income he will get more. The maximum is £8900 which should cover both rent and living costs. It's paid in three unequal termly installments.
Thankyou, he has a Monzo card so that's helpful. He'll be entitled to about £5000 which will just about cover his accommodation, so we'll be topping up his living expenses, probably weekly so he hasn't got too much in there at once
With due respect, and I know you want to help but you need to make him take responsibility even if he messes up. Transferring his allowance weekly is a good option for the first term but he does need to budget, not you. His school would have been reminding them about student finance too, ucas reminded them in early May
I'd agree with you if he was getting a full loan stucknoue. But I'll be buggered if I'm going to let him piss thousands of pounds of my money up the wall.
Some student bank accounts allow you to reject the option of an overdraft, OP.
Ds went with Nationwide (no incentives as such with the account but we've always banked with them) and it allowed you to select zero overdraft.
ADHD isn’t a mental health issue. It’s a condition. You can’t get over it as you can depression, for example.
If he is part catered ( & I did not do this but a friend of mine did ) there are various supermarket cards ( she did Sainsbury's ) where you can load it up and it can only be used for food etc ( not ( I believe ) wine / beer etc ) , so a way of giving money which goes towards essentials rather than "other stuff" I did not do this with DS but friend who did it for her son said it was good so please take others' advice more than mine. But a way of giving money which can't be pissed away but makes sure always enough to eat ( without knowing what part catering means at his particular place )
Anyway if it sounds of use, ask others, but I know my friend thought very helpful for her son
I've not even GOT a student bank account (the quality of the bribes to open them has gone right down since my first degree so I've not bothered) - never mind an overdraft facility. I've just set my loan to go into my utterly basic current account I use for day to day spending that has no overdraft facility on it. My plan is (I can be shite with money given the chance - no chance of that with two kids!) to pay my travel card costs for the year and then move the loan into an alternative account and gradually move a set amount back each week for spending money etc (the bulk of my loan is going for childcare really).
I run two saving accounts - one is my "holding" account where I keep money and release gradually, one has my childcare fund for the term in it that I move across to pay when dates to pay that come around, and my current account gets however much I want to have available for a week for day to day expenses - with phone banking apps it's a lot easier to run that kind of system these days.
You'll get a breakdown from Student Finance with what will come in each term and the dates it'll come in on - the first payment date is the vague one as they only release it once university have confirmed you've showed up basically - might be worth getting in touch to see how far through the system the application's got though - I've had a load of bother this year (errors on their end with misinformation and duplicate accounts) and they HAVE actually been pretty decent in terms of being able to tell me that yes, your application will be assessed by Friday and you should hear by the middle of the following week etc.
You'll get a breakdown from Student Finance
No, the student will.
Unless the parent has made him use the parent's email address, I suppose.
And give the parent their login details...
the unrivalled I am aware ADHD isn't a mental health condition. Unfortunately he also has OCD, as I stated in my original post, which most definitely is a mental health condition. And I don't mean he just likes to be tidy.
Otherwise, thanks for some really helpful info lovely people.
Worth seeing what student support is available for him when he starts as well OP - there may be some pre-course sessions on managing finances etc (I've had a couple emailed to me from my uni)
That's a good idea thanks pants. I'll get him to email uni