Ramen noodles, used textbooks, and tuition fees — a student budget can be challenging for both students and parents alike. And if you’re trying to rely on mom and dad less — whether by choice or specific instruction — you can use all the money advice you can get. Whether you’re a college or university student (or the parent of one) use these tips to get out on your own:
1. Free and discount events. Don’t let a lack of funds keep you from having fun. University and college campuses offer tons of free or pay-what-you-can activities, like movie nights, sports games, concerts, and special interest clubs. Or explore your local town or city with student discounts and freebies available at museums, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
2. Apply for scholarships. Seek out awards, bursaries, and scholarships— check obvious places like your school website and government aid, but also less obvious ones like banks and local businesses. Don’t be afraid to apply for something for which you don’t meet all the criteria. If it’s very specific, chances are few will fit the bill perfectly and it’ll be awarded to someone who decided to apply.
3. Direct deposit. Even if you’re receiving student loans via direct deposit, you’re not automatically set up to receive other government payments that way. So sign up for direct deposit to conveniently get your income tax refund, GST/HST credit, and other tax-related payments deposited straight into your bank account and get immediate access to your money from just about anywhere. Direct deposit is the fastest, safest, and greenest way to get your payments. Sign up for direct deposit by visiting your financial institution or go to directdeposit.gc.ca for more information.
4. Get app happy. Smartphone apps are a great life hack for anyone on a budget. You can sign up for notifications when something you need is on sale, price compare different brands and stores, and even get a discount or freebie just for downloading. Or join a trading app to exchange stuff you don’t need any more for something you were planning on spending your hard-earned money on.
5. Double duty part-time work. Choose a part-time job that gives you cash for now and valuable experience for later. Get creative and find something at least remotely relevant to your field, like a position at your school newspaper, a social marketing gig with your student union, or a research assistant position with a favorite professor. Even if you only receive a small honorarium, you’re filling out your resume with practical experience that’ll give you a leg up on the competition when you graduate. – NewsCanada