Money Mishaps & How to Fix Them
Quite often, no single purchase feels like too much. It is the culmination of our actions that lead to financial difficulties. While in college or university, we are at an odd transition point. We are old enough to feel like an adult and assume many adult responsibilities, but we are still students and not working full-time. Here are a few common issues post-secondary students have when it comes to money, and what can be done about them:
That cup of coffee is only a couple of dollars or so. But by ordering one each day, that could add up to a whopping $700 or more every year! Making the morning beverage at home or in your dorm, either with a machine or as instant coffee can save you hundreds annually. This is a common misconception for adults too, and can be tricky to overcome. When you are zipping around from one class to another, these purchases can be made with little forethought. By forcing your brain to become more and more aware of them, you can take the first steps to cutting back.
Working Too Little or Too Far
A lot of us may consider part-time work a bad idea during the school year, as it can distract us from our studies. Although this is true, there are ways to minimize that distraction. Working not only helps to alleviate your budget, but provides valuable experience going forward. During the school year, it gives a constant stream of income coming in to put your mind at ease. If you are attending a major university or college, it is often not necessary to travel far to work. More and more online and remote work options are becoming available. By taking full advantage of nearby and remote jobs, you can keep your budget balanced without sacrificing your schoolwork.
Saving Money Ineffectively
A no-fee chequing account lets you keep track of your deposits and withdrawals. This gives you a clear idea of how much money is coming in, and where it is going. It is good practice to review these expenses at least once a month to keep yourself on track. High-interest savings accounts are also beneficial, though they are not the income treasure trove banks may advertise them to be. Nevertheless, by placing funds in your Tax Free Savings Account, you are less likely to touch them and spend those dollars frivolously. If you combine this with other money-saving habits, it all adds up.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that for many of us, we are not helpless victims to expenses spiraling out-of-control. There are numerous actions we can take to either improve our income or cut back on unnecessary expenditures. By starting to focus on that in college and university, you can eliminate and avoid bad habits that would otherwise stick with you throughout adulthood.
“Budgeting for University Life.” Practical Money Skills. https://www.practicalmoneyskills.ca/personalfinance/lifeevents/university/budgeting.php
“Tips for students to avoid common money mistakes.” University of North Texas. https://news.unt.edu/news-releases/tips-students-avoid-common-money-mistakes
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