As college and university students gear up to go back to school in September, Sharlane Bailey, Owner of Canwest Accounting, offers some budgeting tips students can adopt to keep afloat during the school year.
“Most students have limited funds, and therefore need to be able to budget their money to ensure they can pay their rent and cellphone bills, and buy food,” Bailey says.
Top Budgeting Tips for Students
Don’t spend it before you have it –
If you’re building your credit rating by using a credit card, make sure you already have the funds in your bank account to purchase the item. Before leaving the store, go onto your banking app and pay off that purchase on your credit card statement.
- Be smart about textbooks – Make sure you set aside a little extra for textbooks. If you don’t need previous textbooks, sell them back to the bookstore or via social media sites. Additionally, try to buy used textbooks in good condition whenever possible.
- Set aside funds for predictable monthly bills – You know you’re going to be paying bills for rent, cellphone and food each month, so set that money aside to cover those bills.
- Eat for health and energy – Instead of eating fast food or in restaurants, select healthy, nutritious ingredients to make meals at home, keeping in mind what’s on sale. Eating healthy can also boost both your body and brain’s performance, providing you with extra energy.
- Have extra tax taken off your paycheque – If you are working quite a bit while attending school or withdrawing from your Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and working, then have a little extra tax taken off each paycheque, so you don’t owe tax in April. Even as little as having an extra $10 taken off each paycheque can make a huge difference.
- Choose inexpensive transportation – Instead of owning a car and all the expenses that come with it (eg. loan payments, gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.), try to live walking or biking distance to school and work or on a bus route.
Bailey also reminds students to download their T2202A tuition receipt in January or February and claim this on their income tax return. Accounting and bookkeeping experts work out of Canwest’s Victoria and West Shore (Langford) offices and can help clients to set up tools for budgeting and tracking their expenses.
The suggestions and advice provided by Canwest Accounting should not be relied upon in place of professional advice. You are responsible for checking the accuracy of relevant facts and opinions provided.