Banking and other tips

Here are some tips to help you manage your finances:

  • Choose a bank close to campus. All banks are not the same. Shop around for the best service package to meet your needs.
  • When transferring funds from one bank branch to another, allow 15 days. Carry enough money on which to live or bring a bank draft with you. Your new bank will refuse you access to your money until the transfer is complete, unless it is a bank with computer-assisted multi-branch banking services. Confirm arrangements with your bank long before leaving home.
  • Remember you will spend almost one-third of your year’s budget during the first week on tuition fees, books, rent, setup costs, etc.
  • Banks will not give you funds from parents’ personal cheques (even key account or other special status cheques) until the cheque clears the bank or the cheque is certified.
  • In the last week of every month, rework your budget to ensure you are still on track. Make adjustments to your weekly expenditures as needed, but always keep the same total through to the end of the year.  There are a lot of good apps out there to help you maintain your budget.  Try mint, ClevMoney, You Need a Budget or any other that you like. Even a simple spreadsheet will do. The important thing is that you have a budget and pay attention to it!
  • Use shopping apps to find the best deals quickly on things you need.  Try Flipp and Out of Milk.  Find retailers that offer a discount or special offers for students.
  • Yes, count your pennies (ok, nickles)!  It’s easy to remember the big purchases but also easy to forget and lose track of those day to day “little things”.  Very quickly and with no effort you can nickle and dime your way to budget disaster with your daily coffee, donut, slice of pizza.  All of those small purchases really add up in a month.
  • Did you know the Canadian government has an entire site dedicated to financial literacy and health?  It’s true and it’s a gold mine (pardon the pun) of great information and they have sections dedicated to youth and students.