Last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving and chances are many of you went home for the first time since classes began in September. Of course, when you go home, parents and relatives like to check-in and ask all sorts of questions such like:
- Are you studying a lot?
- Why haven't I seen any Facebook updates lately? (your savvy aunt)
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Do you have enough money?
- Are you on Snapchat now? (your savvy aunt again)
- Are you going to be able to afford everything?
Quite often there will be a lot of questions about finances. Parents tend to be very concerned about finances, either because they're helping you pay for school or they've been there themselves. Talking with parents and family members about your finances and re-evaluating your budget can be very productive and very comforting. If you didn't take the opportunity to talk finances with your parents or family, it's never too late to give them a call.
Of course, you can always count on the YU Money Smart blog series to give you some pointers as well. Here are three steps to help stretch your finances:
1. Revisit your budget: Remember that thing that you’re always supposed to keep track of? Now’s the time to revisit and see where you’re spending all your money. If you’re an RBC Client, we’ve got you covered with myFinanceTracker, but there are many other free options out there. Now it’s time to live within that budget.
2. Be on the lookout for free money: Check online to see if you qualify for any scholarships, bursaries, or grants. A bit of research could save you hundreds of dollars. If nothing else, flash your student ID card anywhere you go. There are often deals that are available only to you. Enjoy that student status while you can - paying full price is no fun!
3. Hard costs vs. frills and fun: Tuition, textbooks, rent – all hard costs. These won’t change, and are easy to tackle. It’s the discretionary costs that add up – those new jeans, that night out, the late-night pizza. If your budget is already in disarray from the first part of the semester, you may need to say “no” to these costs or scale them back significantly. and park yourself in the library (it’s what you’re at school for anyway!)
We hope these pointers are useful to you. As always, feel free to reach out to SCLD on Twitter and let us know if there are any specific topics you'd like us to cover around financial literacy.