Amy’s life is about to change.
In June, she graduated high school. In August, she is wrapping up her summer job at the local swimming pool after three seasons. In late August, her parents helped pack up their vehicle with her belongings and made the hour drive into the city where she will begin university classes.
It’s an exciting time. Soon, Amy will be starting her journey towards a degree in commerce, meeting new friends and taking in all the experiences possible for someone on their own for the first time. Paying bills included.
While Amy has had to budget her lifeguarding income while in high school, moving out on your own is drastically different when it comes to handling finances. Even with a budget, taking advantage of any opportunity to reduce costs can go a long way during your time in post-secondary. Here are a few tips for those starting out on their own (change):
- Sharing: Having roommates can help keep housing costs down. You can also save a few bucks by sharing items such as food, furniture and electronics with your roommates.
- Buy used: It’s common for textbooks to cost more than $100 and secondhand copies sell out fast. One trick for reducing costs is to get in touch with students a year ahead of you and arrange to buy their texts at the end of term. Many schools have buyback programs that connect buyers and sellers.
- Own a computer: While it’s essential for schoolwork, it can also be used to save. Skype calls cost less than regular phone calls and cable TV can be replaced with cheaper options to catch your favourite shows.
- Learn how to cook: When classes are over after a long day of classes, it’s easy not to want to start preparing a meal (or doing the cleanup afterwards). Learning how to cook healthy food not only saves you money, but it also prevents the health problems that go with the steady diet of high-fat, high-starch meals that are standard cafeteria fare. Homemade curries, stir-fries and soups, cooked in bulk once a month and frozen, will give you the power to resist that beckoning pizza flyer.
- Look for student discounts: You won’t enjoy this type of perk until you become a senior citizen – 10% off just for having your student card with you. Many businesses in places with large student populations have this type of discount and aren’t afraid to publicize it. You just need to keep your eyes open.
Contact us. We can help you set up a plan for your post-secondary years.