In the latest catch up telephone call to my student son, who is studying in a different province, we had an interesting conversation…
Son: “So, Mom, I have R12 left for the month”
Mom, in horror: “It’s only the 17th day of the month!”
Mom: Pause… and gently says, “How are you going to eat?”
Oh, my word, how will my student children who have flown the nest learn to pace themselves with their monthly allowance of an allocated amount per day to provide for food, beverages, clothes, transport and entertainment? To be fair, my son has never actually asked for additional money. I guess he understands that this is his journey.
It is difficult to allow this unfolding of growth without dipping into one’s bank account to make a quick rescue transfer. However, if our student children are to experience the true value of the opportunity to study away from home, they really do need to learn how to create a workable budget. This is the one time in life when one is expected to be counting one’s pennies and fashion is no longer more important than food in one’s tummy.
This four-year course of study can create the foundation for frugal expense management and an understanding of the real risks we face in saving our well-earned money to achieve our goals.
Like many other students, they have each accepted a bursary, which involves working for the company during their holiday time, as well as for a number of years after the completion of their studies. Should they fail, they will have a substantial amount to pay back to the bursary. This has provided the students with their first lesson in understanding what it means to sign a legal contract.
The bursary has been provided in full to each student, which they have chosen to invest with PPS Investments. Together with their financial advisor, the students have the choice on how to invest the money that has been allocated to them in the portfolios PPS Investments offer. They decide on the rate of draw down for their living expenses. In addition, the students have to ensure that they pay their annual university and residence fees on time to qualify for placements and discounts.
While he is grateful, my son whispered, “Mom, I feel like I have the responsibilities of a thirty-year-old, and I’m not even twenty... What happens if I invest my money badly and it runs out?”
He is right. The responsibility to ensure he is able to complete his degree falls on him. It is a carefully crafted contract that shows the commitment of a company to invest not only in the education of students to become professionals, but in the creation of financially savvy graduates who will have understood the value of money.