Money is tight while you’re in university. Just because the Canadian Government is eliminating the penny and melting them down doesn’t mean you don’t need to know how to count them. Follow these simple tips to make your money stretch.
1. Budget and track your money
Allocate realistic amounts for necessities such as housing, transportation, phone bills, school expenses, medical expenses, groceries, emergency fund, and personal items. Be honest with yourself about how much you know you will spend in each area. Put aside some fun money.
Furthermore, track your money on a spreadsheet to see where you are actually spending your money. After a couple of months, reflect on your spending patterns. Are there places you are overspending that could be cut back? Consider finding a website or an application to help you budget and track your spending.
2. Work on campus
Boost your income by working on campus. Many schools offer work-study programs that help students in financial need find jobs on campus. Additionally, working at school will reduce your transportation time and costs, and employers are generally flexible to your school schedule.
3. Plan your discounts
There are many companies, grocery stores, and services that offer student discounts. Take advantage of the money saving offers that retailers offer. For example, plan to do your weekly grocery shopping on the day that the store offers a student discount.
One More Tip: Don’t rely on credit to help you cover costs. Using credit cards can result in mindless spending and frivolous purchases. Unpaid credit card bills can result in poor credit ratings and high interest charges that you cannot afford.
Your turn: Learning to manage your money can be tricky. Can you recommend any websites or applications that have helped you put these tips into practice?