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Tight on Cash? Here’s Your Guide to Help With Budgeting

Written by Phaedra Corrente

The old adage “money doesn’t grow on trees” rings true for everyone, but especially so for students. Between handling tuition, phone bills, and bus fare on a low income, it can be tough to budget your cash so as to not end up with $0 in the good ol’ bank account at the end of every week. Even if you’re not rolling in cash, there are many ways to help manage your money and refrain from falling hard into the “broke college student” stereotype. A good place to start figuring out your budget is with online tools like this handy budget calculator.

If you find that you just don’t have enough to make ends meet, here are a few quick tips that’ll help get the ball rolling on your quest to live comfortably on a student budget.

Don’t Splurge on Fast Food, Daily

Save yourself a lot of dollars (and income-related stress) by bringing food from home. It might take a bit more time out of your day, but you can make your meals as simple, healthy, and delicious as you like.

No. More. Window. Shopping.

Don’t buy stuff you don’t need, especially if you’re tight on cash. Stick to the necessities and you’ll be finding more green in your wallet in no time.

Bills first. Then Clothes, Bus Pass, etc.

We’ve all got expenses that we need to take care of before anything else, so be sure to get them out of the way so you can figure out how much money you have available for other things (after stashing some away, of course).

Bus it—Don’t Drive

Forget owning a car—simply driving one is expensive. Between gas, insurance, and maintenance, being a driver can take a massive toll on your bank account. Don’t subject yourself to spending hundreds on your car and instead spend money on taking the bus. Better yet, don’t spend any money and walk or bike if you can.

Use Cards Sparingly

Cards are certainly convenient, but digital money somehow seems far more disposable to us than cold, hard cash. Try to withdraw cash as your spending money when you get paid—chances are, you’ll be far more conscious of how much you’re spending.

Save, Save, Save

It’s tempting to treat yourself every time you get paid, but don’t neglect your savings account—there’s always money to be set aside. Remember, budgeting doesn’t have to be scary. Check out this video from CIBC to see what your peers have to say about their best budgeting tips.

General information not about CIBC Financial products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. CIBC does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.

Congratulations to Krista Lucier from Western University, Winner of Week 10 in CIBC’s $10K Study Break!


Enjoy that $1,000 study break, Krista!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.