Although students are in a much better position in Canada than in the United States, according to a MacLean’s study conducted in 2018, students that study away from home in Canada still have to spend a whopping 20, 000$ per year for their University degree! This amount takes lodging, groceries, tuition, and other expenses into consideration. It’s no secret that a University degree is a great investment, but 20, 000$ can still be pretty steep for a full-time student. That’s why we’ve created this guide to student spending — a guide that will ensure that your financial future won’t suffer from spending choices you make in your young age.
When it comes to building a healthy financial future, the most important thing is to be aware of your spending habits. If you set a certain amount of money aside for personal spending every pay check, but find your credit card balance getting worse and worse, chances are that something’s not quite adding up. In order to be fully aware of your financial situation, fill out a student budget worksheet to check whether or not the budget you’ve made for yourself aligns with all of your expenses. If your expenses are greater than your income, it’s might be time to revisit your budget.
Once you’ve noted all of your expenses and sources of income, you should create a proper budget. If your expenses exceed your income, then consider seeing which expenses you can reduce, like your cellphone plan, internet bill, transportation fees, or using e-books rather than physical copies. If this is an absolute impossibility, try to think of ways in which you can increase your income. You can also potentially find other sources of income such as scholarships and grants. Once you’ve done that, create a proper budget that won’t put you in debt.
Switch to a Student Credit Card
If you already have a credit card for which you have to pay an annual fee, consider making the switch to a student credit card. A student credit card comes with no annual fee and allows you to receive cash back on groceries and other purchases. Most student cards also come with benefits such as a free SPC membership card that will give you discounts in various stores. If you don’t have any credit card yet, it might be a good time to do so. If you keep making your monthly payments on time, a credit card will help you build a good credit history, which will help you in the future when the time comes for you to buy your first house or condo!
Whether you have a lot of money left over at the end of the month or very little, putting money aside every month is a good habit. Even if you can only set 5$ aside! As long as you build the habit of setting money aside, you’ll be set for the future! Saving money is extremely important because it’ll help you be prepared for unexpected costs and can help you reach your financial goals. The earlier you start saving, the better, because saving money at young age can even help you finance your first down payment for a mortgage or car! And the more your income increases, the better you’ll feel about setting more money aside for retirement.
If you’ve created a budget, use a student credit card, but your debts are still increasing, get help as soon as you can. By contacting a licensed insolvency trustee, you’re guaranteeing yourself a healthy financial future, because your LIT will help you get out of debt by finding the best solution for your personal situation — even if that just involves a budget reorganization! So don’t wait, and request a free and confidential consultation to free yourself of your debts and secure the future of your dreams.