According to a Statistics Canada report, full-time students who work earn on average $7,000 during the school year. With rent, food, utilities, textbooks, and other amenities to pay for, students must be frugal with their finances. For those who have difficulty sitting down for hours to plan out their expenses, there are a number of free budgeting tools to help! Give them a shot!
Join Mint.com! It’s a budget planner that makes organizing your finances quick and easy. See where most of your money is going and how you can cut back, plan short-term and long-term purchases, balance your expenses with your earnings, and reach your goals. It’s even got a mobile version so you can take a peek at your current financial state when you’re on the run!
Take a look at their introduction video below:
Billster is an accounting tool that helps you keep track of where your money is wandering off to! It will record all your personal expenses, send reminders to people who owe you money, send you emails with a summary of the expenses you’ve put through Billster, and present it all in an interactive and visually stimulating way! And there’s even a fun demo that you can try out before you sign up!
ClearCheckbook.com is an online checkbook that helps track your expenses, calculate a budget, track your monthly bills, sends reminders, and even gives personal financial suggestions for how to pay down your debt faster.
The main features of the site are below:
Buxfer is a great tool for managing your money. You can sign into your profile using an existing Google or Facebook account, rather than creating another account, and it allows you to text transactions to your account. And for those occasions when you need to divide a dinner bill, Buxfer willl calculate what everybody owes and then email or text friends for collection! Additionally, the program uses Google Gears, which downloads sensitive data to your local hard drive and allows you offline access to Buxfer – meaning sensitive financial data is more secure.
In this 8 part series, Kalyn Brooke of Creative Savings takes you through a step-by-step process on what you need to start a budget from scratch. Check out the 8-part series below:
Part 1: Why You Need a Budget…Yes, YOU!
Part 2: How to Track Your Income
Part 3: How to Track Your Expenses
Part 4: Building Your First Budget
Part 6: I Have A Budget, Now What?
“To be financially literate is to know how to manage your money,” says Annuity.org. To help met this goal, they have put together a Financial Literary Guide to help you learn how to pay your bills, how to borrow and save money responsibly, and how and why to invest and plan for retirement.
Student Saving Tips
Cheap Students is a blog site, started by University of Guelph student Lauren Bernardo, that features student-to-student finance advice. You can find advice on everything from paying off student loans to tricks for paying off tuition to the best places to frugal grocery shopping.
From the money expert who brought you Money Moron, Til Debt Do Us Part and the I’m a Princess series, Gail Vaz-Oxlade has interactive budget worksheets, “owning up to your debt” worksheets, and many other helpful resources that every 20-something and student needs. Get debt-free forever, and check out her site: “Gail Vaz-Oxlade: Debt-free Forever.”
Look into student tax benefits.
- Claim moving expenses: Students can claim the costs of moving home or moving to school, so long as they earn some income in the new location.
- Claim tuition expenses, textbook costs, or living expenses on your tax forms.
- Claim a scholarships exemption to prevent scholarships, bursaries and fellowships from being taxed.
- Read more information here: Canada Revenue Agency, Student Income Tax
- Tips for international students on income tax claims: Canada Revenue Agency video series (en français)