Ukash survey reveals student debt is a main concern for parents when kids fly the nest
London, January 2014 – A new online YouGov survey* commissioned by Ukash, the online cash payment provider, has revealed that some of the parental concerns when their kids head off to university are centred on money ñ and debt, specifically.
One in four parents (26%) who have a child aged 16-21 at university or one planning to go in the next few years said they are concerned that their child wonít budget properly at uni and will end up in debt. This is almost the same proportion as those who worry that their offspring wonít be able to get a job when they graduate (29%).
Only 16% of parents surveyed are very confident in their childís ability to budget effectively and 15% said they donít mind if their child gets into debt as long as they get a good degree. Almost a third (32%) of parents surveyed, were not very or not at all confident in their childís ability to budget effectively
Whilst more than half (58%) of parents who responded to the survey indicated that going to University is all about getting a good qualification for the future, more than half (55%) feel that learning to manage money effectively is a valuable end result.
ìUniversity is a fantastic and unique time to make the most of new-found independence, but this lifestyle can all-too-easily lead down a slippery slope to long-lasting debt if outgoings arenít managed carefullyî explained Miranda McLean, Marketing Director of Ukash. îAnd our research demonstrates that this is a very real fear amongst many parents.
ìAs a parent myself, I do wonder how well my kids will cope financially as they grow up so it doesnít surprise me that so many of the parents we surveyed have these concerns too. What is also likely to affect how concerned parents are is that many, if not most, students rely on the ëBank of Mum and Dadí at least to some extent in order to get them through uni.
ìWith high tuition fees and the general increased cost of living, this can be a tough time for parents, which is why we believe it could make sense for those looking for a way to help their kids manage money more effectively whilst away at uni, to consider sending smaller amounts regularly rather than one lump sum at the beginning of the semester.î
An effective way for students to budget effectively is for them to use a prepaid card topped up regularly with small amounts sent by their parents. The Ukash prepaid MasterCardÆ is a good example of a money management tool students can use to help manage their budgets. It can be topped up with cash or via a bank account. And because it is a MasterCardÆ it can then be used to spend online or in shops, bars and restaurants, and helps students stick to a budget and avoid surprise bills. This tactic reduces the likelihood of students getting into debt, as they will have a regular supply of cash but not be tempted to splash out and spend everything in the student union in one go.
ìMoney management skills have life-long implications and should not be under-valued,î continued Miranda McLean.
ìFor many people the first real experience of this comes when at university so itís vital for parents to ensure their kids make the most of it and benefit from the experience as much as possible. Parents providing cash on a prepaid card, little-and-often, could be a useful tool to help with this. Ukash can also be used by international students, or those from the UK who are studying abroad, to receive money via our new Money Transfer service.î
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 510 parents with children aged 16-21 of which 390 have a child at University or one planning to go in the next 2-3 years. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th and 11th November 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 25+).