4 ways to help ease student financial stress

For post-secondary students, making time for studies and achieving academic goals are top priorities. So adding money and financial management to the mix can be a challenge and create added stress.
Fortunately, if your child is in college or university, there are many ways they can help manage financial stress through the school year. Here are some tips that can help:

Gamify the budget. A budgeting app can help students spend wisely and avoid taking on more debt. Some come equipped with interactive gaming technology, offering tips, reminders and fun virtual rewards when financial goals are met.

Pay down debt. If you or your child has any debts or loans, it’s time to set up a reasonable plan to repay them. While some student loans only require a first repayment upon graduation or the start of full-time employment, the sooner the debt is paid off, the better.

Follow RESP rules. If students have access to a Registered Education Savings Plan remember that this money is for tuition and related expenses, not a shopping spree or Friday nights out. Students can speak with a financial advisor who helped set up the plan to determine when to have money withdrawn and in what amounts.

Get good advice. If you’re looking for additional funds to help cover costs during the academic year, a great place to start is campus financial aid offices, which can determine eligibility for funds from other sources, such as scholarships, student awards, bursaries or loans. Part-time employment may also be worth considering along with a visit to discuss options with a licensed financial advisor.