Tips for managing finances as a post-secondary student
(NC) Student life can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. As college and university students return to class this fall, it’s a good idea for parents to get them to look over how they’re managing their finances. This can help students avoid unnecessary debt and eventually graduate with more freedom.
Research from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada shows that when people use a budget, they are better at managing their money. As a parent, one of the best things you can do for the student in your life is help them create a budget.
Start by identifying all the costs of student life, from tuition fees and course materials, to living expenses, transportation and entertainment. Then identify sources of income, from grants and bursaries to part-time jobs.
Think about ways your student could cut costs, for example, by making their own meals or shopping at stores that offer student discounts on certain days of the week.
Advise your children to be cautious when considering getting a student credit card. Credit cards are a very expensive way to borrow money if you don’t pay off the balance in full each month. The average annual interest rate for student credit cards in Canada is over 18 per cent. A budget-planning tool like the one available on FCAC’s website can be a great resource, helping your student track their income and spending, set goals and plan for expenses that are easy to miss, like entertainment.
If you teach your child how to take charge of their finances, they will be able to graduate with more opportunities than obstacles.