Canadian Students College or University Bound Prepare Your Finances NOW!

I remember when I was a young bloke and on my way to University the world was in the palm of my hands (so I thought).  I truly believe I had my head on straight back then and today given the way I continue to pay myself first.

That doesn’t’ ring true for most of my school mates, at least what I witnessed even here in Canada. I went back to school for 5 years and learned that debt is debt no matter  what country you live in.

Most of my mates who did work while attending University simply blew the money on pints of beer down at the pub and buying crap they didn’t need. I was a simple guy who just wanted an education and a good career.

Before cutting the umbilical cord from me mum and dad to start what would be a journey of reality I set some clear goals for myself. I knew I didn’t want to come out of school with any debt. I was young when I started to learn about the value of money so this was a must. I worked on weekends and in the evening to save money for University.

I had to live in a residence when I moved away which was costly so I did research before-hand to understand what costs I would blend into my budget. It wasn’ t long before I realized I needed to save more money so my summers were spent working full-time at a local pub in the kitchen washing dishes.

I think even if I had to sling manure I’d do it just to save money and stay out of debt. Kids today are reluctant to step away from the game consoles, Iphones and internet — we need to teach them to get up and MOVE!

If you are a student and think I am being harsh you have a long road ahead of you. No one is entitled to anything and we have to work hard to get ahead in most cases.  You will soon learn you are the pony of your own parade. No one will be there to pull your strings but you.

Back when I was younger if your parents sent you off with your education fully paid you were lucky. In Canada if your parent’s have extra money they can dump it into an RESP  to help their child offset the cost of education when it comes time.

So for most of us our options were to

A-work

or

B- get a loan from the bank.

If you are smart enough you might even snag a bursary or scholarship, never hurts to try.   I opted for A and am proud that I was able to do it on my own although I still made mistakes like everyone.

Not all students act responsibly when the cord is cut and on their way into to adult-hood. Sometimes we need to learn from our mistakes,but at what cost. We need to educate our children before they educate themselves on the art of spending less than you make. In most cases the this never happens until it’s too late. I believe parents should teach their children about finances when they are young.

We hear it over and over how students are graduating school with no job, or less income than imagined along with high student loan and consumer debt. Best part of it is you better hope you don’t meet your dream husband or wife at school with the same debt. Can you see why we are digging bigger holes for ourselves.

I took to my Facebook page to ask my fans what they would tell the Students of Canada about preparing for higher education. Many of them wish they had someone prepare them or maybe invest some time in goal setting like any adult should. Students need to wake up it’s 2012 and no one will be responsible for the financial  mess they create, not even mummy and daddy.

So listen up close my dear students and watch yourself prosper when you have graduated school rather than wished you had never gone.

Tips for Students Preparing Finances for their Education

Mr.CBB’s Tips-

You need to budget your money. If you can do that through University you will WIN the debt war!

Read on about what our Facebook Fans had to say…..

  • Heather Clarkson #1: Take a year to work before hand, really think on what you want to do and save some money so your debt will be lower. also do research on what you can do with your degree – a lot of them need some serious follow-up.
  • Heather Clarkson #2: Have a goal for your summer. Mine was to go to Florida I had to make sure I had the money to go and enjoy myself. It also made me spend less while in school, especially on stuff I didn’t need.
  • Barbara Foster: Live within your means, and buy your books second-hand!
  • Tara Willard #1: Mine is for the High School students looking to GO to University/College … start putting HALF your paycheck away in an account that you can’t draw from a card. You’ll be surprised how fast your $ adds up and how equally fast it disappears when you go!!!
  • Tara Willard #2: For those getting ready to go – RESEARCH the job market that you’re interested in and make sure there is a high demand. There’s nothing worse than graduating and not getting something in the field you wanted. Then … go out and volunteer – build up your contacts, as its definitely WHO you know!!
  • Susan Mongrain: When your student loan and bursary money comes in, prepay the necessities like rent, insurance, and put a chunk aside in a “food account” that is to be used for nothing but that. When times are lean at the end of each semester you will have fewer money worries – plus great credit references!
  • Anna Michele: steer clear of those credit card salespeople just sa NO!
  • Jen MacLeod: Do your research on chosen job field!
  • Shelley Ann McInnes Chenier: Definitely run away from the credit card people! You can tell yourself it’s just for “emergencies” but you’ll end up using it and before you know it you owe A LOT of money (even responsible kids like I was)
     If you must have an “emergency” credit card, have the bill sent to your parents. It’ll make you think twice about buying if you know mom/dad are going to see it!
  • Joann Cheevers: Try to get into a Co-op program if possible, the job experience gained from it so valuable. Watch what you are spending on meal plans.
    I know I lived on campus my first year and was required to buy a plan, I bought the smallest one possible. If you live off campus try to bring your own lunches, dinners and snacks as opposed to eating on Campus
  • Tara Willard: Credit is important AND comes in handy – there are PREPAID credit cards that give you the insurance of having one and builds a good credit rating. Use it just for gas!

What else would you like to say to future students! Have your say, comment today and help the Canadian leaders of tomorrow!

You can find Canadian Budget Binder on Facebook HERE or Twitter HERE.. Come join in on the conversation!

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Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Great post! It’s very important to start educating kids early about financial decisions and their lasting impact. I think the onus should not lie entirely on the parents. If we teach out kids how to responsibly have sex, then we can teach them about how to responsibly use a credit card. I think the government needs to take the time and insert a mandatory course on budgeting and savings into the curriculum.
    This will not only educate children and help prevent thousands from getting into debt, it will also save millions because less people will blindly jump into debt (5% downpayment on a home they could never afford).

    • I agree with you 100% I mean the students are already there to learn so they might as well get taught this in school. It’s also good as not every parent is savvy when it comes to finances. The likelihood of a child learning anything from a parent is up to their ears in debt is slim to none. We have to start somewhere though. Great Points. Cheers Cheddar! Mr.CBB

  2. Earth and Money says:

    This is very timely, particularly as high school students are just now finding out where they got in for the coming year. I can’t tell you how many times I remember meeting someone who was excited that they just got their student loan check for the semester so they could go out and party that night. I think the big problem is that we don’t teach kids how to manage their money in high school, so they come out with no concept of real world personal finances. I would recommend all students read a book – any book! – on personal finance before they go to school.

    • I agree with you that money management should begin at home but also taught in the schools. I recognize that many parents themselves are rubbish with money so how can they teach their children. Thanks for your post. Mr.CBB

  3. Canadian Performer's Money says:

    I am sick of our media always talking about how unfair it is that some people are rich and some people are poor. Like the goal should be for everyone to have the exact same net worth.

    If you worked nights and weekends to put yourself through school with no debt (like Mr. CBB did), you will be financially stable later in life. If you took out a student loan and spent money like a drunken sailor on your credit card partying and shopping, you will be broke later in life. That’s 100% fair.

    We can’t blame the schools or our parents for not teaching us about money (although it would be nice if they did). The libraries and the internet are full of free information.

    If you choose to do nothing but read about celebrity gossip, then you reap what you sow!

    • Just found your post in spam mate, sorry. You are right though, at the end of the day we make the bed we lay in. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves. It truly breaks my heart to see how some people are completely oblivious to the fact that they blow money and just don’t get debt. There are people that will NEVER and I repeat NEVER get out of debt because that is all they know and they refuse to think they can do it.
      I believe there are subjects in school that we will never use in our life and why not offer a financial 101 as part of the curriculum in a math course. Who know’s what the future will bring, but what we do know it students of today are our future. I hope we train them well… Cheers Mr.CBB

  4. mycanuckbuck says:

    My advice is: 1)Take a practical degree. Degrees in philosophy and anthropology don’t tend to lead to jobs. 2)Find something that offers a work -study package. 3)Check out scholarships. Especially local ones -they often tend to be overlooked.

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