Four Tips for Getting Your Child Ready for College
As most moms know, planning for college can be stressful, especially preparing your finances to pay for tuition, housing, books and food. Even if your child is years away from going off to college, it is still extremely important to make sure you are financially prepared for when the big day arrives.
According to The College Board®, the average tuition increase from 2014 to 2015 was 3.7 percent at private colleges and 2.9 percent at public universities. Imagine how expensive college will become when it’s time to send your kiddo to school? Fortunately, there are options to help you put aside enough money, such as savings plans. Not to mention the many resources to help you pay for college including subsidized and unsubsidized loans, grants and scholarships.
However, tuition is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to college expenses! Housing, especially in bigger cities, can take a huge chunk of your budget. The economic benefits, safety concerns and convenience factors between dorm-life and apartment living can be overwhelming. To help you out, here are four tips to consider when planning for the safest and most affordable living space for your future college student!
- Compare costs: Many people are unaware of the hidden costs associated with living in an off-campus apartment and can sometimes end up spending just as much, if not more, as compared to living on-campus. Food, utilities and gas are all hidden costs that can greatly increase the price of off-campus living.
- Look for included utilities: If you do decide that an off-campus house or apartment is best for your child, try searching for apartments that include utilities in the rent. This can help you or your child account for how much money is left for other expenses rather than waiting for an electric or water bill to arrive. Not to mention, this can cut costs during the summer or winter months when utility bills tend to be at their highest.
- Consider one or more roommates: Roommates are also a great way to share costs including rent, utilities, furnishings and even groceries. Plus, if your child selects a roommate that he or she gets along with, they can have a friend at home while they’re making the adjustment to college life.
- Best Options for Furnishing your Child’s Home Away from Home: For many kids, one of the most exciting parts of starting college is setting up their new home – from choosing their color scheme to adding personal mementos from home. Unfortunately, all of these items can get expensive! If you’re looking to save time and money when it comes to furnishing your child’s new dorm or apartment, furniture rental may be a great option! By renting furniture, parents, students and roommates know the exact cost of their furnishings for the entire year and do not have to factor in hidden expenses such as moving vans, fuel prices, storing furniture and replacing broken items. Rental packages start at $99 per month, and the cost can easily be shared between roommates. Renting offers you high-quality pieces for your living room, bedroom and dining room at a fraction of the price. Not to mention, furniture rental can save you time and energy on move-in day because the furniture will be set up before you arrive at no extra cost!
Every parent wants to give their child a great education, but college keeps getting more expensive. With these tips, you can start planning ways to cut your child’s housing expenses and help them have a great college experience!