Exams have wrapped up and you’re homeward bound for the holidays. But finding the perfect gifts at the perfect price point can be difficult for many students.
“The holidays are an expensive time of year for everyone, but students can especially feel the financial strain,” says Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust. “It’s important to create a budget and do your homework on clever ways to save this season, so you can enjoy yourself without going into debt.”
Chun offers his advice to students on how to manage their money this holiday season:
• Build a budget – From parties and gifts to travel expenses, create a budget and account for all expenses you’re likely to incur. Calculate your total income and then subtract your regular and holiday expenses. If you have a negative balance you need to rethink your spending.
• Roll up your sleeves – Working during the winter break will give you invaluable experience and help put more money in your pocket. Universities and colleges have career centres equipped with resources to help students find work.
• Use your credit card responsibly – Only use your credit card to pay for purchases that you can pay off in full once your statement arrives. Refer to your budget before making any major credit purchase to make sure you can realistically afford it. Beware of cash advances, because they often incur interest the minute you withdraw the money.
• Look for ways to save – Many student cards come with perks like discounts on public transportation and shopping at various retailers. Remember to only use ATMs from your bank to avoid any additional transaction fees, and keep track of your cash flow to avoid fees for non-sufficient funds.