Make Your Money Go Further While in College
Alexander College shares some tips on how you can save money while in school.
Moving out and being in control of your own finances for the first time can be hard. Throw in the fact that it’s very expensive to live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and financial management becomes especially challenging. When I was a college student, I learned this financial lesson the hard way. So, why not share my experiences and a few learned tips. Check out these four tips for making your money go further while in college here:
Tip #1: Life is expensive! Make a budget and stick to it.
It was a big eye-opening experience when after my first semester of college, I had burned through nearly half of the savings that I had set aside for my four years of education. It was time for me to sit down and make a budget and learn how to manage my finances. I quickly realized that the place I was renting was too expensive for me and all that eating out at restaurants and the school cafeteria added up really quickly. From there, I adjusted my expenses, moved to a new, cheaper place, and started cooking at home a lot more. But step one was identifying my monthly expenses and making a budget based on the income I had.
Tip #2: Look for ways to save cash.
Bills. Bills. Bills. They add up! Look for student deals on essential services to save you big time.
Each September, the large internet providers (Shaw and Telus) often come out with student internet deals. These deals are not always advertised, but a quick phone call to your internet provider can get you the info that you need to save on these bills. There is also a smaller internet company with great reviews, called Oxio that is currently offering internet plans starting at $40 a month. Whichever plan you get, make sure it’s sufficient for online learning.
It’s also possible to save money on your cellphone bill if you’re a student. Give your cell phone provider a call and let them know you’re a student. They likely have money saving offers for you!
For saving on the day-to-day spending, look for deals at the grocery store. Keep a mental tally or use a calculator to keep a running total as you add items to your grocery cart. One grocery deal that I still use regularly is the Superstore PC Optimum app. It lets me know about deals and offers at this grocery store and gives me points back that add up to free groceries!
We all love our morning caffeine fix. Another easy way to save on cash is to make coffee at home. The average cost of a Starbucks beverage is $3.50. That doesn’t sound like much. However, if you stop at Starbucks three times a week on average, that adds up to nearly $50 a month. On the other hand, the average price of a cup of coffee brewed at home is $0.30. If you have home brewed coffee three times per week, over the course of a month the cost is only about $4.00. Voila! Drinking coffee made at home offers instant savings.
And lastly, but certainly not least, check out the Alexander College Clubs and Events page. Not only are these events free, super fun, and a good way to make friends, but many of these events come with free food!
Tip #3: Look for work opportunities that give you more cash.
Making money during college can be challenging. Some employers are not very flexible to schedule around student class schedules, it can be hard to find a decent paying job, and it is also difficult with the limited work hours that international students are permitted to take on. So, here are some options that might be helpful.
Alexander College hires students! AC understands that education is a priority and has no problem scheduling student work hours around class schedules.
If you are a strong student academically, one additional option is to become a tutor. The hourly wages for tutors can range from $20/hour and up! As a bonus, inserting tutor to your list of job experiences can bump you up in National Occupational Classification (NOC) for permanent residency in Canada!
Tip #4: Seek out scholarship opportunities.
Funding for international students can be especially challenging. Many of the Canadian aid options that are available for domestic students are not available for international students. But alas, some options still exist! There are some international scholarships, which are based primarily on academic achievement, that offer free money to students to further their education.
The Government of Canada and the Canadian Bureau for International Education both have a list of scholarships available to international students. So, if you have high academic scores, check these out and apply. You might get free money to continue your education!
It’s no secret that life as a student can be financially challenging. Hopefully you have learned a few tips that might help to make your money go further while you’re in college.
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