Congratulations! You have decided to apply to College! Not only will you be leaving home but there are also other costs that if you don’t know about, can be overwhelming. So, where do you go from here? You’ve probably already started your plan to pay tuition – but there are also a number of other costs associated with your future college experience. Budgeting can help and we will show you how! (Be sure to apply to Bursaries & Scholarships as well as OSAP)
There are a few different things for you to do, before coming to college that will help make your transition easier. A good place to begin is by planning a realistic budget for yourself, so that you’re able to stay on top of all your expenses!!
If you don’t have a clue on how to create a budget, don’t panic. Start by researching online or checking out some helpful apps like Mint or HomeBudget, that are specifically designed to help you stick to your financial goals. You’ll be able to start monitoring your bills and income, as well as prioritizing your expenses, establishing a solid budgeting framework.
In regards to prioritizing your expenses, it’s time to start making some cut backs. It’s extremely important for you to be conscious of your needs vs. wants. Whether it be going out to eat or buying new clothes, these are all temptations you should try to manage and only spend what is necessary. A good trick to try is creating a “30-day impulse buy list”. This is for when you have the urge to make those quick purchases that aren’t considered a necessity. If the item has been on the list for 30 days, then it’s acceptable for you to buy. Most of the time you’ll lose the urge to buy what’s on your list and end up saving plenty of cash.
If you do make the decision to make certain purchases be sure to check out stores that offer student discounts within your area. Places such as Improbable Escapes, Curry Original and Serenity Spa will offer you up to 20% off for being a student. It’s also a wise decision to look at your local second hand stores to see what you can find. Thrift stores give you the opportunity to give back to the community while potentially finding designer products for a fraction of it’s original price.
It’s the small actions that could make a huge difference in your savings. Students are susceptible to overspending because it is the first time they’re given the ability to have control over their finances. Establishing and understanding the value of a budget in your first year will put you one step ahead of the game and benefit you in the long run.
If you have any other questions regarding financial aid or budgeting in general, please click here for more details!