Post-secondary students are faced with competing priorities – classes, exams, papers, family commitments, work and life, just to name a few. For many, there just isn’t time left over to manage their finances. However, creating a budget is essential to making student life a little less stressful.
Here are some of the best budgeting tips, money management ideas and information about how to get more help for post-secondary students of all ages:
8 Money Management Tips to Help Students Budget Better
- Create a realistic budget that also gives you a little money for fun… yes, fun! Review it each month to make sure you stay on track and have time to adjust it as needed.
- If you are using student loans or have enough money saved to get you through, set it all aside in a separate savings account. Then every two weeks, based on your budget, pay yourself what you need to live. Writing your own pay cheque helps you manage your money so that you have what you need. This is called the holding account method and is one great way to budget with irregular income.
- Needs are more important than wants. If you aren’t sure which is which, live without it and see if you can manage.
- Look for ways to cut down on your expenses; e.g. scale your cell phone features back, avoid eating out more than necessary, watch your transportation costs. It all adds up and every little bit counts.
- Work on campus to save time and money… not to mention the resume boost it can be!
- Track where you spend your money and watch for patterns. A little here and there can add up when you least expect it.
- Avoid credit that you can’t afford. Putting small items on credit cards repeatedly can add as much as 50% to the cost of the items once interest and fees are added on.
- Do not commit to long-term contracts while you are studying. So many things can change while you are a student; you don’t want to tie yourself down unnecessarily.