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Money Management

Graduating high school and beginning post-secondary studies is a big milestone. There are several things you can do to help your child prepare for this exciting time and get off to a great start.

Help them set a budget

Making a budget and sticking to it is the foundation of good financial planning. Learning how to budget is a great skill for students to master as they begin their adult life, and there’s no better time to start teaching them than while they’re still in high school. Here’s how you can get them started:
  • Help them add up their anticipated monthly income for the school year, including scholarships, loans, money from part-time jobs as well as any money you plan on giving them.
  • Figure out what their expenses will be, including tuition and rent, food, laundry and clothing, and smaller expenses like coffees, snacks and magazines.
  • Allocate a certain amount of money each week or month to cover necessary expenses.

Share these helpful money-management tips with your child
  • Track your spending – write down everything you spend money on, big and small, for 2-4 weeks. The more you know where your money is going, the better you’ll be able to curb expenses.
  • Make a budget – see the guide above on how to create a budget or use our budget tracker. When you have a financial plan in place, you’ll have a greater chance of living within your means instead of going into debt
  • Pace yourself – give yourself a spending limit for each week and stick to it. Otherwise you can easily burn through your money in one semester.
  • Think twice before you charge it – a quick way to spend beyond your means is to rely on credit cards. Use them sparingly, and pay off balances every month to avoid paying interest charges.
  • Be realistic – being a student is a time in your life when you’re going to have to make some sacrifices in terms of spending. The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be to live within your budget.
  • Plan ahead – if you know a big expense is coming up, like a trip or a car insurance bill, start setting aside a little money each month to pay for it so you’re not hit with one big bill.

Additional resources

Teaching your child about budgeting and money management is a great way to prepare them for this next chapter in their life. Click on any of the links below for more useful information to help you keep the discussion going.

Budget Tracker

Student Money Management Tips

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