To help students manage their finances, Jarman offers the following tips:
Living at home:
- Understand your household expenses: Your parents may be footing the bill, but getting an understanding of how much it costs to run the household will be helpful in forecasting future expenses for when you do live on your own.
- Make a budget: While you might not be responsible for household expenses, you will likely experience transportation/parking costs, student fees, clothing, entertainment and food (likely including a morning cup of coffee).
- Save for later: Living at home through school could give you an opportunity to save for your future. Putting money aside on a regular basis will give you a head start when it's time to move out.
Living away at school:
- Know all your financial options: Look for scholarships, bursaries and work programs to help fund your education.
- Track your expenses: From utilities to groceries, knowing where your money is going is the first step to establishing a budget. Also, if you're living with roommates, decide in advance how you will share costs to ensure there aren't any surprises.
- Assess your needs: Do you need your own car or can you take advantage of public transit? Can you rent your textbooks or buy used ones from your campus bookstore? Can you change your mobile plan to ensure you're only paying for what you need?
For both groups:
- Ask for student rates everywhere you go: From the bus to the movies, retailers often give discounts to students.
- Be disciplined about debt: Whether that's using a credit card for everyday spending or taking out a loan to offset tuition costs, understanding all the factors that impact the cost of borrowing money will put you in control.
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