What student budget should be planned for the start of the University Semester?
Summer is the time when we all want to have fun, and the temptations to spend money are numerous. However, the university semester is not far away, with all the expenses it entails. How can you combine saving and enjoyment during the summer season and maintain good habits throughout the year?
Prepare a monthly budget
The university semester can be much less stressful financially if you budget your expenses well in advance. University fees, books, rent, groceries, bills, insurance… Planning your needs will help you prioritize and control your expenses accordingly during the summer.
This tool, tailored to the student reality, can be useful in establishing a monthly budget: https://lautorite.qc.ca/en/general-public/calculators-and-tools/calculators/monthly-budget
Find a part-time job during the school year
Many young people work during the school year either by choice to pay for personal expenses or out of necessity to cover their education costs. When the number of hours doesn’t interfere with study time, a job can be very educational and beneficial for your CV.
Emploi-Québec provides a wealth of advice to help you in your job search: https://www.quebec.ca/en/employment/find-job-internship/student-jobs-internships/student-employment
Manage your credit card wisely
A credit card is a tool to be used wisely and judiciously. To avoid impulsive purchases, it’s generally advisable to choose a credit limit that truly corresponds to your financial capacity. Also, it’s better to avoid rushing into the first offer that comes along. Comparing different cards allows you to choose the most cost-effective one.
This brochure from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) explains how credit cards work and the risks they expose young people to. Implementing these tips when you’re young can save you a lot of money and avoid many worries later in life!
This tool can be used before making a purchase to check if you’ll be able to repay quickly or how much fees you’ll incur if you don’t pay the full balance. It also provides advice for your first apartment: https://lautorite.qc.ca/en/general-public/calculators-and-tools/calculators/credit-card
Prioritize public transportation, carpooling, and car-sharing
You don’t need to own a car to get around, especially if you plan to live in the city. Public transportation, carpooling, and car-sharing options are widespread in the province. No need to pay for insurance, maintenance, or parking tickets… Why miss out on such great savings?
Choose free or discounted activities
There are plenty of free activities throughout the year. Additionally, being a student often comes with student discounts. Many establishments, bars, restaurants, etc., offer them. No need to break the bank to plan a variety of activities!
If you’re living in a shared accommodation, it can be beneficial to do groceries as a group instead of individually. Buying in bulk is often more economical (usually, but not always! Read the price labels carefully). And of course, stick to the list you’ve planned and hunt for discounts.
Wishing you a successful school year!
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