Budgeting away from home Whitehorse YT
Budgeting away from home
By David Lee
(NC)-For many of you, going to college or university will be the first time you really have to budget your money. According to Statistics Canada, Canadian full-time undergraduate students paid an average of $4,524 in tuition fees in the 2007/2008 academic year. Depending on your location and habits, the cost of living on your own for an eight month academic year will probably fall in the neighbourhood of ten to fifteen thousand dollars. Don't wait until you're out of money to start budgeting or you'll end up with a stomach full of instant noodles and nothing else.
Before school, make a list of things you'll need, and have friends and family check the list for things you've forgotten or you can do without. Calculate your cost of living and the supplies you will need for the school year - the basic cost of tuition, books, rent, utilities and food is a good place to start. Budget enough to cover these requirements and then pay yourself an allowance for recreation.
Don't beat yourself up if you blow your weekly budget at some point during the year. If you overspend during a night out on the town, recognize that your entertainment budget has been used up - skip the next video game you were going to buy or spend the next couple of weekends catching up on reading. Eating out can add up quickly as well, so learn to cook or pack snacks. Also, try leaving your credit card at home; it's surprising how much harder it is to splurge that way.
Even if you are sticking to your budget, you need to make the most of your resources. Do research and consult deal websites such as RedFlagDeals.com before making purchases to maximize savings, because when emergencies hit, they can hit hard. A beer shortage or lack of the latest clothes is not an emergency, but having to travel home unexpectedly or having to replace something important like text books, a computer, or car brakes can be. Be prepared - at the very least, you won't go hungry, and at best, you'll come away with money to spend for next year.