Offering helpful financial and lifestyle advice for everyday Canadians

Posts tagged ‘student debt’

Three Personal Finance Tips For Soon To Be College Graduates

Scott Day of Michigan State University has 3 great finance tips for upcoming grads!

I just recently bumped into an old friend that I had not seen in a while. He has a “soon-to-be college graduate.”  We started talking about today’s tough job market, and he asked if I have any advice that I might be able to pass on in personal finances for this particular age demographic. I quickly put together a three-point elevator speech that could be explained by a concerned parent in a short period of time, and here are the highlights:

  1. Next time your soon-to-be graduate is at a book store getting a cup of coffee, meeting with a group of friends or studying, ask them to pick up a book or two on personal finances that is directed at their age. If they can buy it, great, but even if they skim through it for a half hour at a time, over time, this will get the ball rolling that will help them set themselves up or success in what might be a very stressful time in their lives. Since they are already in learning mode this would be just a little “value added” to a well-rounded college education. (more…)

The Cost of Learning in Canada

The Cost of Learning in Canada

Getting a university education is becoming less and less affordable. Since 1990, average tuition fees in Canada have increased three times more than the rate of inflation. As classes begin this fall, which provinces are telling students to take a hike?

Financial Tips for Young Canadians

Arti Patel of the Huffington Post Canada writes an insightful article for young Canadians on financial literacy. Originally posted on

Financial Advice For Young Adults: Tips For 20-Somethings

When most people think of 20-somethings and disposable income, they picture a group of young adults disbursing money frivolously and leaving their futures behind. But in reality, most youth want to have a grip on their finances and start saving as soon as they can.

Financial priorities for Canadians between the ages of 18 to 34 don’t seem to look all that different from those older than them: 49 per cent want to own a home, 48 per cent want to reduce or eliminate debt through regular payments and 39 per cent of youth want to start an emergency savings fund, according to a recent RBC poll.

“People aspire to own a home and this is a time when people want to,” says Melissa Jarman, director of student banking at RBC.

Jarman says to start saving money, people need to start figuring out where they’re spending it. “People need to rethink their spending, regardless of age. When you think of somewhere that your money is going to, like buying lunch everyday, a lot of people spend a lot,” she says. To break it down in simple math, $10 a day on lunch is $50 a week and $2,600 a year, she notes.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. If going on a vacation once a year or blowing a few bills on alcohol-filled nights is your idea of fun, budgeting and saving for the things you want to do won’t hurt your bank account.

Keep Some Wiggle Room

The key, Jarman says, is to live on less than you earn. Keep some wiggle room for youself so you don’t spend close to or above your limit. When you get your next paycheque, try to save more — at least three to ten per cent — and spend less.

Get Used To Saving

Save, even if it’s just a few dollars at a time. As you start your career, paying down student debt and planning major purchases like a car or first home can make it difficult to save. The trick is to incorporate savings into your budget before you get accustomed to spending it every month, Jarman says.

Emergency Funds Are For Emergencies

“As a general rule of thumb, an emergency fund should be about three times your monthly expenses if you are single, and six times your monthly expenses if you are married or have children,” Jarman says. Opening a high-interest savings account will help you earn money through interest.

“D” Is For Discipline — Not Debt

Organize your debt in order of interest rates and pay off the debt with the highest interest rates first. You may also want to consider consolidating all of your loans under one umbrella, with a lower interest rate if you can, Jarman says. Make your payments on time and, when you can, pay more than the minimum payment. Missing payments can hurt your credit score and should be avoided at all costs.

Rethink Spending

Let’s say that, on average, you spend $10 a day on lunch. That’s $50 a week and $2,600 a year. If you earn $30,000 a year, for example, you would save up to nine per cent of your salary by preparing lunch at home, Jarman says. Saving on these simple costs leaves you more money to save with a RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) or TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account).

[end of article]


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