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The Best Advice to Help Your Kids Avoid Debt in University

Helping your kids to pay for university isn’t always possible. Parents have their own financial considerations, and while helping kids out in various ways is often a priority, so is protecting their retirement and staying out of debt themselves.

Those barriers and identifying other ways to help university-bound kids is the subject of this podcast. Recognizing when you need to draw the line financially can be difficult, and we talk about that first. There are many ways parents can support their children, other than with money, they can potentially offer housing. We discuss the different types of financial assistance available and how parents can offer emotional support and insight into the financial realities and pressures of university to help them keep their debt load as low as possible.

Nancy Snedden, LIT from our St-John office, covers the essentials when it comes to managing finances in university. Budgeting, managing monthly bills, staying on top of financial aid responsibilities, and knowing when to ask for help are critical to financial security.

Here are some more online resources that offer on-the-nose advice that can help your child find their own perfect-fit for financial management.

  • Eva Baker from Teens Got Cents list some saving money with simple changes, like finding a fee-free bank, and buying off-brand to save every month.
  • The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada covers some good to know bases. Budgeting for student life includes more than might first meet the eye–living expenses, health insurance, transportation, and considering rising costs are important. They also link to a budgeting worksheet so you can put pen to paper.
  • Student Finance 101 gives some thought to making strategic choices. The location of the school, the cost of living in the area, and even the value of co-op programs are covered. And a good last thought on how to reframe thinking to avoid unnecessary consumer debt–the things that make us happy are often less costly than we think.
  • Danielle Kubes takes an unconventional approach to budgeting through her non-budget strategy. Every person has their own best fit to financial management, and Kubes is a great example of finding what works for you.
  • Money After Graduation takes a post-university perspective. Bridget Casey is open and honest about what it means to live with student debt, and how hard it is to pay off. The choices and sacrifices graduates have to make are long-term–a good warning for current students.
  • And last but not least, here’s some advice for university parents, from parents who’ve been there, to help you make it through the excitement and challenges, too.

This is an opportunity to get excited about helping your kids find the best way to manage their money on their own. Help them become passionate about personal finance and avoid debt in university, and beyond.

What sage advice have you found or given to help your kids stay out of debt? Tell us on Twitter. #BackToSchool #DebtSolutions #PostSecondaryEd

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