So you’ve graduated from high school and you’re off to university or college. Before you start, take the time to set down some goals and a budget for your financial future as a post secondary student.
Your parents have probably been telling you to put aside some money from your part time job into savings. However, sometimes we don’t take the advice of our parents ? So if you aren’t sure you are on track with your budget and savings, consider a few pointers that I have always found helpful and some from the experts provided in the links below.
To help with your financial future as a post secondary student here are a few easy steps you can set up a budget to live by including a savings plan:
1. Track your spending for 2-4 weeks. It depends on how disciplined you are but if you can track for the full month –all the better. Some expenses like gas for your car will be easy. It is the little trips for coffee that we sometimes forget and those can add up.
2. Make a chart or list of your expenses (all spending) and income. If you are spending more than you are earning you need to make some adjustments. You should not be dipping into savings to cover your monthly expenses. If you are earning more than you are spending — excellent!
3. Based on your budget, set an amount each month that goes into your savings account. I recommend 10% of your income. If you are living at home while going to school you may be able to set aside more in savings. Take advantage of that low or no rent situation!
4. Talk to friends and family to see who they use for investing their savings. You may be conservative or more aggressive — that is up to you to decide or to discuss with a financial planner. Set aside some money for short term needs and for a long term savings. You may have a goal to save $1,000 for new tires for your car and then accumulate a larger savings goal that you build on over the next 4 years of school to use towards moving out of the family home, buying a new car or a down payment on starting a business.
For more tips visit:
To learn more about common challenges for post secondary students, visit:
Thank you to my DLC colleague Pauline Tonkin for this great article.