As a Financial Literacy Month comes to a close, this edition of Pro-Tips comes from Brenna! Brenna works in the Awards and Financial Aid Office and is here this week to give you tips to help manage your money as a student.
Make a Budget
Personal finance experts agree that making a budget is first step to managing your money. A budget is a spending plan for a set time period that takes into account your expenses and your available financial resources. This will help you prioritize costs, stretch your resources and ultimately, help reduce stress so you can focus on your studies. To get started, check out our Quote the Raven article on creating your first budget, the student budget calculator on the Awards Office website or try one of the many free budgeting apps or templates available online.
Be Smart with Credit
Brenna’s second tip is to be smart with credit. Credit cards can be a useful tool to help students build credit history, make online purchases and meet unanticipated expenses. However, it can be easy to lose control, overspend and graduate with unexpected credit card debt. Paying your balance in full each month is the key to responsible credit card use. Remember to review purchases on your monthly statement to ensure you are staying within your budget.
Have a Plan to Repay Loans
The final tip is to have a plan to repay any student loans you may have. Whether you will be graduating soon, or want to get head start on repayment, it’s important to know your options. Most Canadian student loans, including OSAP, are administered by the National Student Loan Service Centre. If you haven’t already done so, set up your NSLSC online service account. Your account allows you to set up pre-authorized payments, check your loan balance, customize your repayment options, and more. To learn more, check out the NSLSC Repayment Webinar, which is available for students to watch at any time on the Awards Office website. If you have student loans from Quebec, the Northwest Territories or the Yukon, visit the student aid website for your province or territory to learn about repayment.
To learn more about managing your finances during university, check out the Awards and Financial Aid website.
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