5 Steps to Save Money at School
From meal prep to student discounts, do everything you can to maximize your money.
By Luxshana Sivareswaran, Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
The value of a post-secondary education is priceless, but the financial burden can be overwhelming. Here's a 5 step guide to help you save money, worry less about your finances, and focus on your education.
1. Pack a lunch and do some meal prep
Packing a lunch can sound tedious, especially when you're balancing assignment deadlines and readings, but eating all your meals at on-campus restaurants really adds up.
Try meal-prepping on your days off so you can have healthy meals readily available each day. There are many meal prep resources online to help you get started.
At Humber, when students need to buy food on campus, the pay-what-you-can Soupbar is a great spot to get nutritious meals for a fraction of the price.
2. Get a part-time job on campus
Juggling a part-time job and full-time studies can be demanding. However, finding opportunities on campus can be a great way to manage your workload while earning money. Browse your school's career website and look for available job opportunities as early as you can, as jobs are always in high demand.
At Humber, there are many job opportunities for students, including as research assistants, peer tutors, or within the library, athletics, or other departments.
3. Use on-campus services and find student-exclusive discounts
There are many perks to being a student! Your student fees may give you access to athletic facilities and gyms, health and dental insurance, career counseling, free legal advice, and more.
Many businesses offer student-exclusive deals and discounts, especially near the beginning of the semester.
At Humber, you can get student discounts at the Humber Spa. If you're an avid coffee drinker, many on-campus shops offer a discount if you bring a reusable mug.
4. Apply for OSAP, scholarships and bursaries
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) helps fund many students' education through a combination of grants and loans. Your college's financial aid department website can help you through the application process and provide scholarship and bursary application opportunities. If you need extra support, visit them in person.
The Humber financial aid office also offers budgeting workshops and strategies for repaying OSAP funding once you graduate. Familiarize yourself with your college's OSAP procedures and apply ahead of the recommended deadlines to get your funding in time.
Every year, Canadian students miss out on millions of dollars in unclaimed scholarships and bursaries. With that in mind, check out scholarship websites like ScholarshipsCanada as well as your college's financial aid website. It never hurts to apply!
5. Shop around for textbooks
Buying textbooks gets really expensive. You could lower costs by purchasing older and/or used versions of the textbook, but check with your professor first to determine if the content from the older book isn't out of date. Check online to compare prices before you buy.
Once you're finished with a textbook, sell it quickly to recover your costs. Visit your campus bookstore to see if they will buy it back, or sell it online to another student.
Improving yourself through education is one of the best investments you can make. The knowledge and experiences you will gain will always be with you. Try not to sweat about the finances too much. Follow these steps and focus on getting the most out of your academic career. Your efforts will pay off!
Learn more about Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning!