The Hi-tech Way To Set Kids Up For Life On Cam­pus

Keep their grades and spir­its high with handy tips for that first year at uni­ver­sity

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What I wouldn’t give to re­live my uni days with today’s tech in tow. A light­weight lap­top or smart pen could have saved me hours writ­ing up lec­ture notes, and I’d have hap­pily handed over my brick phone for a smart one loaded with study-savvy apps. I’d even have been tempted to swap my sand­wich toaster for a soup maker! Whether you’re send­ing off­spring out into the big wide world or you’re a ma­ture stu­dent learning later in life, the fact is that when it comes to gad­gets, the class of 2016 is spoilt for choice!

STUDY SMARTER

Given that most stu­dents will use their lap­top to watch TV, lis­ten to mu­sic, video-call home and shop, as well as tackle course­work, you can’t un­der­es­ti­mate the im­por­tance of get­ting them the right one. I’d rec­om­mend a hy­brid that can be used as a lap­top for work and a tablet for play. Other in­valu­able tools are the Live­scribe smart pen, as rec­om­mended by Katie Pater­son, editor of stu­dent

fi­nance site savethes­tu­dent.org (see be­low), and REFME, a free app that helps cre­ate and or­gan­ise ref­er­ences for es­says and dis­ser­ta­tions.

LEARN TO BUD­GET Loot’s smart bank­ing is made for stu­dents and their par­ents. Open an ac­count and they’ll get a pre-paid, con­tact­less Visa debit card that can be used any­where that ac­cepts card pay­ments, as well as at cash machines. It’s tied to an ac­count num­ber and sort code, so money can be trans­ferred to the card eas­ily. Sync the card with the Loot app and transactions will be sorted into cat­e­gories, help­ing to set sav­ing goals – in­valu­able if they are bud­get­ing for the first time.

RENT A ROOM

If your kid isn’t in halls, they can use apps and web­sites to track down the per­fect digs. Visit easy­room­mate.com and whether they’re alone, in a cou­ple or part of a group, they can search for a house share by lo­ca­tion, rent amount and mov­ing date. You can list a room for rent here, too! Tools like Rentr will also take the po­ten­tial st­ing out of find­ing a prop­erty and deal­ing with a land­lord for the first time.

EAT RIGHT Ask any stu­dent what they miss most from home and I’m will­ing to bet 99.9% will say a good meal. But be­ing holed up in halls needn’t lead to a diet of take­aways. A soup maker will take up hardly any space and can turn out a healthy meal for pen­nies (and with lit­tle culi­nary skill re­quired). Sim­i­larly, a slow cooker will trans­form cheap cuts of meat into de­li­cious casseroles while they’re out. Oh, and be­cause caf­feine is a stu­dent’s best friend, get­ting a cof­fee maker will save them heaps on Star­bucks.

FACT! 20% OF FRESH­ERS HAVE NEVER WASHED THEIR OWN CLOTHES, 25% HAVE NEVER BUD­GETED, 69% HAVE NEVER PAID A UTIL­ITY BILL AND 14% CAN’T BOIL AN EGG SOURCE: SAINS­BURY’S FI­NANCE/OPINIONPANEL

HELP THEM START THE NEW TERM KIT­TED OUT IN STYLE WITH THE LAT­EST HI-TECH GAD­GETS

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