WATCH ABOVE: Global’s Dave Squires has some tips on how students can survive on a budget as they make the leap from high school to college or university.
HALIFAX – Thousands of students in Halifax making the leap from high school to college or university are finding themselves in charge of their own finances for the first time, and for some, that can be challenging.
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18-year-old Gabrielle Walthers from Calgary is about to begin her first year at Saint Mary’s University. It’s her first time away from home, and her first time managing her money.
“It’s a lot of stress and a lot or pressure because if your don’t follow your budget, you are set back for the rest of your life,” said Walthers.
Like many students, Gabrielle is living on a student loan which means a limited budget.
“You have to watch every single penny you spend,” said Walthers.
According to a new CIBC poll, many students feel that financial pressure: 49% of post secondary students in Canada worry that they won’t be able to cover tuition and living expenses. While 37% aren’t sure they will be able to manage their finances.
Balancing a budget
Resources are available at universities and colleges for students who need help to balance a budget. Saint Mary’s student financial aid officer Allen Wolfe said planning ahead is key, and he suggests always have money put aside in case of an emergency.
“Its always those surprise costs that students never really plan for that they should build into their budget in advance,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe also says students should track purchases so they know where their money is going, as well as how much they’re spending.
Wolfe says his most important piece of advice is to be realistic.
“If they know they enjoy going to the movies, build that into your budget, so when you go to the movies you are not blowing your budget,” said Wolfe.