Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Most of my friends graduated school with debt. I did too. For the 60 per cent of students cited in a recent RBC survey who revealed they would also graduate with some form of debt, implementing a few smart strategies could likely help relieve some unnecessary stress.

Managing our money as students is essential to successfully arriving at the end of our post-secondary years as little in the red as possible. The key is to have a plan to get there from the beginning. Below are a few tips to help new students get started.

The Globe's Back to School Guide

Story continues below advertisement

Create a plan and track spending

A spending plan is not sexy, or necessarily fun, but it's a must. Figure out how much money you have, or will have, by listing all of your income sources: part-time job, scholarship, mom and dad, savings. Then list all of the expenses you can think of for the year: tuition, food and books, travel costs. Tools like the Student Budget Check will help you to calculate the average cost for all major purchases in college and university and then allow you to calculate the money you need to get through the entire school year. Online financial management tools and Apps make it much easier to track where your money is going and how much you are spending.



Pick the right plastic

I was offered a different credit card everywhere I turned during frosh week. They try to suck you in with free t-shirts, gift cards and goody bags. It's tempting but dangerous to sign up for the first card you're presented with. If you already have a card, search online to ensure you're heading off to school with the best interest rate and the best card for your situation. If you're looking for a new credit card, sites like CreditCards.com and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada will help you easily sift through your options based on your preferences and needs.



Search for scholarships

Searching for opportunities online is likely the best way to find scholarships. Sites like studentawards.com feature millions of dollars in available awards. The best part is that when you create a personal profile, you'll automatically be matched up with the scholarships best suited to you. Some sites like scholarshipscanada.com will require more work in searching, but it's worth the trouble once you see the potential opportunities for free money.



Make extra dough doing something you love

Story continues below advertisement

The majority of students polled also said they plan to work during the school year in order to pay the bills. If you're going to be working part-time though the school year, it's important to look at not only what will make you the most money for the time spent away from school and socializing, but also what you will enjoy doing and could potentially further your career after graduation. I lived with the same four girls in university and throughout our years we did a number of things to earn extra money: tutored local elementary and high school students, taught aerobics, contacted the psych departments to take part in upcoming research studies, freelanced in our area of study, etc. What could you do to make a little extra dough on the side? Every bit of extra money helps.



Aside from the expensive essentials, the little things also add up - the latte on the way to morning class, dinner with friends on campus and tickets to a local concert. The right strategies and saving habits will lead to less stress during the school year, and less debt upon graduation.





Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies