I wasn’t a “struggling” college student per se’ but definitely was not living the lifestyle I was accustomed to having my mother available to provide and assist as before. I worked part time and received VA benefits made available by my deceased father. The monetary benefit, wages, and Pell grant refunds still weren’t enough then (when I was the only one responsible) to live off of.
Although my parents have blessed me, and my daughter with having a college fund for my children to attend college, I still think it’s important to be able to provide for them and assist them whenever it’s needed. Since I should still be working, while all but one child is in (and hopefully) finished college the steps below will be incorporated into my budget.
With a junior daughter and sophomore nephew/son in high school, both planning on attending college, I plan on taking these below steps sooner rather than later.
1. Develop a stock Pile.
I coupon, extreme coupon, as a matter of fact. I usually use coupons to purchase soap, deodorant, tissue, paper towels, and some food items. Conveniently, these items are also needed by college students. Even if you do not coupon, pick up as much more as you can afford and put it up for the rising college student. Little items like this add up and I’m sure will be greatly appreciated.
2. Accumulate points.
Many retailers have point systems that can be redeemed for cash on future purchases. Plenti, Walgreens, and Rite Aide are just a few that allows certain purchases to accumulate points that can be redeemed for future purchases and even prescriptions if needed! I would encourage parents to open an account under that child or even just an extra one and allow the points to accumulate until they go to college and throughout!
3. Stash gift cards.
There are just as many apps that allow you to redeem points for gift cards as their are retailers. Also there are retailers that provide store gift cards for future purchases. Target is a favorite of mine. This year with couponing alone, I’ve accumulated about $220 in gift cards! I save some of them and then others I use to make purchases when funds are low! After this year I will begin saving them for my junior.
4. Build a savings account.
Some parents are not able to build a college fund for their children but still wish to send them to college. Even if your child has to take out student loans and Pell grants to fund college doesn’t mean that parents should feel down. Parents could just as well build a savings account specifically for that child to make or pay their student loans. I graduated from under grad with over $40,000 of student loan debt. I would have loved having even $1000.00 to apply to my student loan debt.
What additional ways do you plan on helping your college student? As a college student what assistance was most helpful for you?