Saving advice: 5 ways university students can cut costs

Today, there are many options available to high school grads to help them cover the cost of higher education.  With that said, with higher education becoming increasingly expensive, it’s more important than ever for both students and families to learn how they can trim costs.

Here are some useful ways to save money to better afford university tuition. 

Optimize travel costs:

One way to save money is by optimizing your travel costs. Whether you are required to travel to school by airplane, car or public transportation, there are ways to minimize costs.  If possible, choose an apartment in close proximity to school so that you can walk to class, or ride share with a classmate.  Be sure to utilize student discounts when buying a bus pass.

Save on food:

Paying for university goes far beyond tuition.  Students must also consider budgeting for meal plans and other food-related expenses.  Spending money on expensive restaurants or take-out should be limited to special occasions.  Consider purchasing a student meal plan, which is rolled into the cost of tuition and allows you to better budget.  

Limit extra expenses:

Another way to save money is to keep a tight budget when it comes to travel, parties and concerts.  Experiencing student life can be done in a much more frugal way, such as joining a club, hanging out at local coffee shops, or participating in intramural sports.  If you want to be able to afford tuition and still have money leftover, making a few small sacrifices is worth it.

Consider opening an RESP:

In Canada, opening a Registered Education Savings Plans or RESPs from providers like Children’s Education Funds Inc. (CEFI) is a smart way to invest in a child’s future post-secondary education. Children’s Education Funds (CEFI) has three different plans to choose from, each with its own benefits and features. You can choose a plan based on your family’s budget and each plan is built-in with the added bonus of government incentives.  

Work a part-time job:

If your schedule allows, consider applying for a part-time job.  Look for work that could also be applied to your future career; the more experience you gain, the better your chances you have of securing full-time employment after graduation.  You can also use your paycheque to cover the cost of tuition and other education-related expenses.  A little savings can go a long way to a long, happy future.