Budgeting for Post-Secondary: Saving and Spending Wisely
From making a budget to tracking your spending, being money-smart will help you succeed in school and life.
Looking to get a head start on saving for post-secondary education? Learn more about managing your money with the tips below!
Make a budget
The first thing you need to do when creating a budget is to write down your budgeting goals. How much money are you looking to save? How much are you looking to spend? Next, you will want to determine the time frame to complete these savings.
For example, if your first school payment is due in August, you would make a budget from the current month to the end of July to ensure you have yourself set up well financially for your payment in August. To start your budget, fill out the information you know; your expenses. Add in how much you spend each month on bills; laundry, gas, groceries, phone, utilities, rent, insurance, etc.
Once you have those down, you will want to add in your income for the month. When you have your expenses and your income plugged in for each month, the remaining money after your expenses have been paid will be the money you have for spending and saving. For more tips on how to build your budget or how to save, check out King's free financial literacy resources.
Track your spending
Once you have created your budget, the next step is to look back at previous months and track your spending. This step is very important as you will be able to see your spending patterns and learn where to cut out extra expenses. Saving will become easier once you know where your money is going.
You can save more by grocery shopping and cooking at home instead of eating out, or by taking public transit instead of paying for an Uber or gas for driving. Contact your school to see if they offer student bus passes or free shuttles between buildings on campus. Check out this article for more guidance on tracking your spending.
Get a part-time job
There are many businesses that hire students part-time if you are considering working while being a student. Having a job is crucial if you are responsible for your personal finances, as you'll need a source of income. Having a paying job will help you save money, and allow you to gain work experience.
Most campuses offer Work Study positions that offer students paid, on-campus jobs during the summer and throughout the academic school year. If you are looking for a place to start looking for jobs you can contact the Student Financial Services Office on campus or use a variety of job search websites such as Indeed.
Apply to scholarships and bursaries
Applying to scholarships and bursaries offered at your school is a great way to lower your expenses for the school year. Keep in mind that you may have to submit an application for some scholarships, so you will want to start applying early. Scholarships, grants, and bursaries are not limited to the post-secondary school you are applying to either.
Make sure you consider the available funding that your province provides (for Ontario students that would be OSAP), national scholarships like Student Life Network or ScholarshipsCanada, as well as scholarships provided by your current school. You can learn more about scholarships and bursaries for Canadian students.
We hope you found this article informative and gained some useful budgeting tips to help you think about financing your education. Our final words of advice to you would be to make a plan, write it down, and stick to it! We wish you all the best with your budgeting, and hope to see you here on the King's campus with us in the fall!
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