It’s hard to believe the beginning of another school year is just over a month away. While students everywhere start to plan for another exciting year, finances may not be the first thing on their mind.
It’s a well known fact that school is expensive! According to Statistics Canada, the average cost of tuition fees alone for the 2016-2017 school year averaged around $6,373 – a number that leaves some students (and parents) scrambling for resources to cover additional costs such as books, transportation, and living expenses.
That is why we’ve designed The EPIC Student Bundle to help students through this milestone moment in their lives and ease some of the financial strain parents can feel as they send their kids off to school. With a loan or line of credit at MCU prime rate of 3.25%, students can borrow up to $10,000 per year and only have to cover the interest while in school. We’ve also put together some handy money savings tips below for students to use throughout the school year to help keep them on track with their finances.
Contact us to learn more about our student financing and what’s included in The Bundle.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
KNOW YOUR WANTS FROM YOUR NEEDS—Learn how to balance your wants vs. your needs and always remember your needs come first. You will likely have to sacrifice some of your wants, but remember it’s not forever!
DIVIDE YOUR MONEY—It’s a good idea to put money for rent and other living expenses in a separate account that you won’t access on a daily basis, especially if you’re getting all your education money at the beginning of the year (ie. student loan). Then you can safely budget the rest on a monthly or weekly schedule.
CONSIDER USED BOOKS—you’ve seen the prices of some of those textbooks, shop around! Many institutions run second-hand book salse or rental programs and you can also check out online sites like Amazon or eBay to shave off a few bucks (and for future reference—you can sell your books too)
SET A WEEKLY SPENDING LIMIT—and stick to it! Always take the time to pay yourself, but don’t go overboard on shopping and other entertainment. Those expenses add up quickly!
SCOPE OUT STUDENT DISCOUNTS—many businesses offer deals to students to help make everyday purchases more affordable to you (keep in mind that most require a valid student card). You can also sign up for a student discount card like SPC and save up to 15% on certain purchases. Some schools even offer deals to students for their health and wellness programs or gym memberships.
BUY BULK SUPPLIES—school supplies can be pricey, but if you can buy it in larger quantities you will be saving in the long run.
DON’T LET FOOD EAT UP YOUR BUDGET—learn to cook! Try to save more by eating meals at home and not buying a coffee or lunch every day (just $6 per day equals $180 in a month!) Keep an eye on grocery store specials and coupons so you can stock up when your favorite items go on sale.
AVOID CREDIT—if you don’t have the money for something, you really don’t need it. Try to pay with cash whenever possible so you can avoid those high interest credit cards.
START AN EMERGENCY FUND—try to put some extra money away every week into an account you won’t touch. You don’t want to be left short when your car gets a flat tire, or you get a phone bill that’s bigger than usual.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT ATM—if you find yourself in need of cash fast, try to scope out an Exchange ATM so you won’t pay inflated service fees (download The Exchange ATM Locator app so you always have it handy)
TRACK WHAT YOU SPEND—Review your bank account on a weekly basis and see where you can cut costs going forward (maybe you really didn’t need that expensive pair of shoes!) You’ll be amazed at how much you can downsize your spending when you really commit to it.
CHOOSE ACTIVITIES WISELY—there’s plenty you can do that doesn’t require spending a lot of money. Consider having your friends over for dinner and a movie instead of going out every weekend or split the cost of a group activity. When the day is over, you will be glad you made the thrifty choice.
WALK, WALK, WALK—if you are within walking distance to school, the store, your job, or the gym, do it! Park your car and save the extra money you would have spent on gas (plus exercise is good for you!).