Learning to manage finances is a challenge, especially in first year. Research is key when planning to attend a post-secondary institution.
After you have decided that you want to go to university, one of the most important considerations is how you are going to finance your education. You will incur substantial costs for tuition and books and, possibly, accommodation and travel. Not only is it important to determine how you are going to obtain the money to meet your expenses, you also need a plan for managing that money.
What is a Budget?
- A budget is a plan of action for allocating your money.
- Planning how your year will be financed is an important first step.
- Your money can disappear in no time if it is not appropriately distributed over the entire year among the various categories.
- Lack of budgeting leads to occasional and sometimes overwhelming worries over whether your resources will cover your expenses
- At times, these worries are confirmed at the end of the year and will add to stress levels which are already high due to final exams and assignments.
- A realistic and well thought-out budget allows you to control your spending. It helps you to feel more secure financially and ensures that there will be money for the things that you need, if you follow your guidelines.
- While actual amounts may differ you will have similar costs (fees, books transportation, living expenses, pocket money) and similar resources (savings, loans, grants, gifts, part-time jobs) whether you attend Brescia University College or another university or college.
A Sample Budget has been developed with a set of estimated costs based on the residence situation of a student.
Now it is your turn to sit down and get a sense of what your costs and resources will be for your year at university. Use this Budget Worksheet to help you. Does your budget add up?
Budget Tracker Tool helps you to compare the difference between what you budget for and where you actually spend your money.
How will your costs be paid?
- You and your parents (or spouse) should sit down together and detail all realistic needs and resources.
- Clarify the costs for which you will be responsible and the costs that your parents/spouse will cover.
- Decide whether funding will be given in September or on a monthly basis.
- Determine if funds will be put into a chequing/savings account or a cheque mailed each month.
- Will you apply to live in residence or off campus?
- Will you need to apply for government assistance (OSAP)?
- Working part-time during your study period can help decrease your need. Be realistic about how much time you can allocate for part-time work. Can you accommodate a part-time job and still fulfill academic obligations (attendance at class, labs, assignments, exam preparation, reading)? If you are having difficulty in obtaining a job on your own, consider a job through Work Study
- Living Away from Home – Students who do not live with their parents will naturally incur higher expenses than if they were living at home.