One of the biggest challenges students face when they head back to school is managing their money. In fact, an RBC Student Finances Poll reveals that 71% of respondents are worried that their savings will not cover all of their school expenses for the year.
“With a full schedule of classes, studying, and exams, students have enough concerns before even considering their finances,” says Mandy Mail, director of student banking at RBC Royal Bank. “The best way to ensure that student funds last for the entire school year is to create a plan early on, and stick to it all year long.”
Mandy offers these tips on how to make your money last:
• Create a realistic budget – Determine how much money is available from all sources including loans, grants, and part-time and summer jobs. Set aside an amount for fixed costs such as tuition and rent, and establish a monthly budget for other expenses. The key to a successful budget is to make it realistic – if it is too strict it will be harder to stick to it.
• Plan for social spending – Discretionary spending is where many students get into trouble. Set a weekly limit on certain types of spending like eating out, entertainment, and shopping. According to the RBC Student Finances Poll, 42% of students wish that they knew how much all those little extras cost.
• Track your purchases – Use your smartphone and find an online budget tool to note purchases and track spending. Review both each month to be sure you are not overspending and make any necessary adjustments.
• Make your spending go further by finding the right credit card. Whether it’s a credit card that gives you cashback on everyday purchases or one that allows you to earn and redeem rewards points on for supplies – using the right credit card can help you manage your budget.
More information on back-to-school finances is available at www.rbc.com/studentsolution, #RBCStudentAdvice on Twitter, or at any branch. More on the rewards program is found at www.rbcrewards.com.