Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Heading Back To School On A Very Tight Budget

Note: this is a guest post

The month of September means the end of the summer, and the beginning of the school season.  Families across Canada must cope with empty nests as their children leave their homes to begin the next chapter of their lives at college or university.

Back to school season invokes different feelings within people, depending on who is asked.  But the one feeling that many students and their parents can share is coping with the reality of young adults living on a very tight, student budget.  The cost of living is very expensive, particularly for students who devote most of their money towards paying for tuition with little additional income to spare.

First year college or university students can especially feel overwhelmed when they must learn to become their own primary breadwinner and caregiver.  Between rent, food, utilities, cell phones, credit cards, textbooks, transportation, leisurely shopping, and maintaining a social life with what little time there is to spare – the total cost, in terms of time and money, adds up very quickly.

Even with school just getting back in session, many students already look ahead to their next summer break by planning for a new vacation.  These types of plans incentivize many students to save every dime they can spare for their next big trip, while learning to live modestly throughout the school year.

Financially savvy students look for money saving resources and budgetary advice to provide a roadmap that can help achieve their goals.  Many independent financial resource websites created their own back to school guides to save money and to help students discover options to save on primary and miscellaneous expenses.

These guides offer advice to reduce the monthly cost of rent and other housing expenses, how to use coupons to save money at grocery stores, what are the most affordable cell phone plans, and so on.  Following even some of these guidelines can help students save a little bit of money every week, which can then be added to next summer’s vacation account or whatever goal provides the incentive to save.

Returning to school is a different experience for everyone, especially young adults who are leaving home for the first time.  But the experience can be a little easier by following a few money saving tips.  Every little bit helps as they say, and any amount of money saved takes students one step closer to achieving their next goal.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


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