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Manage your money in a changing world

A few ideas to make more informed financial decisions

November 17, 2023 — 

Thinking about finances and planning ahead as a student can be a stressful, but there are a few ways to become more financially savvy, one step at a time. November is Financial Literacy Month across Canada and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada wants to help Canadians make small changes today that will make a big difference in the long term!

This year’s theme is all about managing your money in a changing world. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you make more informed financial decisions:

Budgeting for Student Life

What exactly does managing your budget as a student entail? It’s the difference between having a plan to manage your money or spending as you go. It’s also about tracking your spending, earning and saving patterns.

Everyone has their own costs to consider. From tuition fees to course materials, transportation, groceries, bills, entertainment and other living expenses, knowing where your money’s going is half the work. The other part is your source(s) of income. Whether it’s from personal savings, working as a student, student aid, or scholarships and bursaries, tracking how much money is coming in will help make sure you’re in the green. It can all come together with the Budget Planner – an interactive tool to create a personalized budget in 3 easy steps using basic information like your income and expenses.

University campuses are also advertising hotspots for credit card companies. The Credit Card Comparison Tool breaks down your credit card options to help you find one that best suits your needs. Similarly, the Account Comparison Tool has the same purpose for chequing and savings accounts. 

Renting your first house or apartment

Renting comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s important to consider them before renting for the first time. The expenses add up to more than rent itself, and may include utility fees, security deposits, moving expenses, insurance and other upfront costs of settling into your new place. If it’s viable in your situation, having roommates can alleviate many of these financial responsibilities.

Be sure to carefully go through your rental agreement to know your rights and commitments as a tenant. This will also help you protect yourself from rental scams and frauds so that you have confidence in your living arrangement.

Using student lines of credit

With a loan, you borrow a set amount of money and pay that amount back. With a line of credit, however, you can borrow money under a certain limit and only the amount that you feel you need. Be sure to thoroughly research your options before using a line of credit or other loan arrangements, and understand important details such as interest rates, insurance, and your rights within a loan agreement. Contact your financial institution for more information on student lines of credit and the application process.

See other resources, interactive tools and suggestions that Financial Literacy Month has in store this November!

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