We can all agree that being educated is great.
That being said, we can’t deny that school is a main source of student stress on account of all the grades, relationships, and expenses to be managed. Getting a handle on your assignments and social circles is hard enough, but having to worry about money on top of that? For the love of taquitos, no.
Student tuition is conveniently doing nothing but skyrocketing while plenty of students struggle to find or maintain jobs, but there are methods to curtail money-related student stress.
The most foolproof, adequate way to do that is simple: having a budget plan.
Nope. Not even joking right now. Having a bona fide financial plan (in writing, of course) is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a young and broke individual, but it’s one of the most overlooked ways of managing your student finances. Think of all the budgets that could have been—the money that might have been saved—had students focused less on trying not to max out their credit cards as opposed to figuring out a way to avoid crippling credit card debt altogether.
“Getting a handle on your assignments and social circles is hard enough, but having to worry about money on top of that? For the love of taquitos, no.”
To remedy this problem, I’ve concocted a plan of action.
First things first: you’ll want to check out this student budget planner. It’s a nonthreatening yet intensive financial planning tool—it covers the small things, the big things, and everything in between. There’s even a category for your pub night funds. Or if you’re not really into that, you can set money aside for those EDM/pop-punk/indie rock concerts you love so much. Whatever floats your boat.
That budget planner is a lifesaver, especially if you’re intimidated by how much you’ll have to spend in the coming school years. While your budget acts as the skeleton of your financial plan, we can’t forget about the meat (and potatoes) of it all. Here are a couple other ways to bulk up your student budgeting skills:
Don’t forget to invest.
You don’t have to become a finance mogul to do that. Even going to school is an investment; you’re dedicating time and money to improve your future. Consider placing money in an RESP, TFSA, or another savings vehicle, and remember to explore your options and be informed before you make your investment decisions.
Apply for scholarships.
The amount of Canadian scholarships that go unclaimed each year is a weird and crazy number. It’s around $15 million. Apply to anything you’re eligible for and hope for the best, because it’s sure as heck better than not applying at all. Make the extra effort and you might just land yourself a few hundred (or thousand) bucks for school.
“Be swift as the coursing river and have the force of a great typhoon.”
Yes, those may be lyrics in “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” but they paraphrase Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. The point? Read The Art of War. It may very well help you build a new outlook on your financial planning habits. Somehow.
It’s easier to cope with humongous school expenses when you’ve got a plan. And even if it turns out that your calculations have brought you to the conclusion that you’ll be in debt for a while, there are ample ways you can smooth it out a bit. Like entering I Could Use $25,000, of course! Don’t forget about loans, bursaries, lines of credit, job money, and gracious donations from that grandparent you see once a year—those all factor into your budget.
“Money will always be gained and lost, but nobody can ever take your good saving habits away from you.”
At the end of the day, there’s no need to fret over your student expenses because you’re in control of them. Money will always be gained and lost, but nobody can ever take your good saving habits away from you. Start planning your finances now and you’ll become quite the force to be reckoned with down the road.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.