Financial Fitness

How to Save While Going to School

By Interior Savings
September 23, 2019

When you’re a student it can seem like you’re never going to get ahead. However, it’s a great time to start saving. We know what you’re thinking… Students have no money! But hear us out!

Once you graduate you’ll hopefully land an entry level position in your chosen industry, but unfortunately, odds are the pay won’t be what you’re dreaming it to be. In addition, you’ll no longer be privy to student discounts, you’ll be living on your own, maybe living in a new city if you had to move for your job, and you’ll have to start paying off your student loan. But trust us, it gets better… especially if you set yourself up for success while you’re still a student!

Where do you begin? Let’s start with an income.

If you’re nervous about not having time for a part-time job while also managing the demands of school, look for job openings at your school! You’ll save yourself the commute and there’s probably more open positions than you’d think. For example, being a Teacher’s Assistant typically pays quite well, has very flexible hours, and you’ll absolutely get in your Professor’s good graces if you’re their assistant! Don’t forget to also check out openings at the gym, in tutor rooms, or on campus restaurants and coffee shops.

Now that you’re making some money, let’s work on a budget.

The 50/30/20 rule will come into play here. This means that you should aim to spend 50% of your income on Needs (rent, groceries, and bills – the essentials). You can spend 30% on Wants (going out, shopping – anything that isn’t really necessary. Going out for wing Wednesday every week definitely falls into the Wants category). The final 20% should go to Savings.

The easiest way to save is to pay yourself automatically. Go in to your local Interior Savings branch and talk to our team about setting up a TFSA account. You can have a predetermined amount of money come out of your account on pay day. It’ll feel as if the money never even existed, which means you won’t miss it. Setting aside money each month, no matter how big or small, will not only get you in the habit of saving, but will also set you up with a financial cushion when you graduate!

In order to stick to your budget, you might need to get creative. Here are a few easy ways to stay on track:

  • Check out car sharing services such as Modo, take public transit or car pool as often as possible. Gas is expensive and so are parking passes. An added bonus is that you’ll be helping out our planet!
  • Make coffee at home as much as possible. Those $5.25 almond milk lattes add up! You can save close to $1000 a year by skipping the daily coffee run. Plus, you’ll save yourself time in the morning and you can spend that extra 20 minutes studying… or sleeping. We’ll let you decide.
  • Shop smart at the grocery store. Opt for the no-name brand option as much as possible and skip the pre-washed, pre-cut fruits and veggies. It might be a little bit more work, but you’ll save money if you wash and chop your own lettuce.
  • Look into your bursary options. It’s free money! A shocking amount of bursary money doesn’t get paid out every year because people don’t put in the effort to apply! Not only will your school have bursaries you can apply for, but we do as well! Check out our Million Dollar Bursary program and find out how you can get $1000 to put towards your tuition.

Ready to get started? Book an appointment with one of our experts and let’s start saving!