Personal Finances for Students

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Deciding to pursue a post-secondary education can have both positive and negative influences on several aspects of a student’s life, whether it be making new friendships or having less time for recreational activities. Typically, a student’s financial situation is a part of their life that is negatively impacted.

The following are just a few tips to help reduce the negative financial impact of pursuing a post-secondary education:

Student Employment – If you can find some time to spare from your studies, why not work part-time while pursuing your degree? There are plenty of part-time opportunities on campus, including research assistantships, tutoring, or even working for The Baron: UNBSJ’s Independent Student Newspaper! You can find some employment opportunities by checking out UNBSJ’s Student Services page, where job postings for students can be found:

Scholarships/Awards – Obtaining funds by doing what you are here to do—study—is possible, believe it or not. Students with excellent grades are often awarded scholarships to help them continue with their studies. However, do not panic if you are not a straight “A” student. There are still many scholarship opportunities that do not require a minimum grade point average and have few applicants or go unclaimed. Some scholarships focus on extracurricular activities instead of grades, so being involved on campus doesn’t hurt. Under eServices, there is a general undergraduate scholarship application that you can fill you, putting you in the pool for the majority of scholarships offered by UNBSJ. For those that are not included in this application, look to UNBSJ’s Money Matters page for more information. Start your search today and keep a close eye on scholarship deadlines,

Spending habits – Many students end up spending a lot more than they earn by trying to keep up with the latest products and accessories. While credit cards help students achieve this goal and can help build credit; they can, however, lead to serious debt if they are not used properly. Limiting the number of credit cards a student has, and more importantly keeping the spending limit on the cards to a minimum, can help him or her spend less on unnecessary items.

Travelling – Travelling can be a major expense for students, depending on where you live. If you live close to campus, then walking or taking the bus may be the best option, financially. However, for a student living in the outskirts of the city, this may not be possible or convenient. Students in this situation could consider car-pooling with other students that have a similar course schedule. Not only will this save you a few bucks, but you are also helping create less pollution and congestion on the roads. If you do not know anyone who is interested in car-pooling, you could always post adds on bulletin boards throughout the university or online.

The points listed above are just a few basic tips for students to consider throughout their studies to help reduce student debt upon graduation. Money spent on education is money well spent, but if possible, finding creative ways to keep some money in your own pockets is not unwarranted—a luxury that ensures we are not overly overwhelmed once we enter the workforce permanently.

Not having to delay certain significant milestones in life, such as traveling, having children, and purchasing your first home, can become more feasible with less debt. Is there any way you could make some better choices with your own finances?

Emily is in her third-year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's an avid plant mom and a stern black coffee drinker. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find her listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation.