Budgeting Tips and Tricks for Students

By Algonquin College Modified on January 20, 2019

Budgeting Tips and Tricks for Students


By Chelsie McHugh

We love to live life lavishly; devouring good eats, wearing trendy threads, visiting exotic places, and even furthering our education. These investments are all well and good, as long as you have money to spend. Not having money isn’t a lot of fun. Notorious B.I.G. might have been right when he said, “mo’ money, mo’ problems” but having no money is an entirely different issue.

Here’s what you should consider if money is a problem:

One of the most challenging parts of being a student is making your money last. Budgeting is all about perspective and discipline. Eat out less, live with a roommate (or your parents), train yourself to only buy things you need (rather than things you want), look for coupon codes or shop with flyers. Downloading the Flipp app and the Honey plug-in can take care of those last tasks for you.

If you’re already doing all those things but will still need additional funds for your education here are a few more tips:

Unlike Jessie J, try not to “forget about the price tag”.
Think about how much College is going to cost. Algonquin College offers a Tuition and Fees Estimator that will give you a good idea of how much you’ll actually be spending. If the total’s looking a little steep, don’t sweat it. There are loads of places you can turn to for financial aid.

Need mo’ money?
If you need financial assistance, apply for OSAP. If you apply early, you’ll get your funding at the beginning of the semester. If you’re stressing over the details, you can get the most up-to-date information in your OSAP portal.

If you don’t qualify for OSAP or if it isn’t meeting your needs, banks also offer student loans at low interest rates. But make sure you do your homework on which bank might work for you.

You’re in it to win it. Don’t forget about bursaries and scholarships.
Once you are enrolled in College you can apply for bursaries. You can do this through your Algonquin College ACSIS portal. Applications open in August, December, and April. Make sure you apply every semester.

Don’t forget about 3rd party scholarships! It might take a little digging to find them but it’ll all be worth it when you get that fat cheque. Why not enter a few contests while you’re at it? Algonquin College is having a Tuition Contest and you’re more than welcome to enter. Remember: you can’t win if you don’t try. Take a shot in the dark, and apply!

If you aren’t like Lil Wayne, and you don’t “Got Money” then hopefully these helpful tips can remedy that. You work hard for your money, and you’re trying your best. That’s why we want to help.

Chelsie McHugh is a third-year Algonquin College - Advertising and Marketing Communications student. She’s a funny, fiery redhead with a passion for writing.