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Main Community News Avoid Money Woes With Back-to-School Budget Tips

Avoid Money Woes With Back-to-School Budget Tips

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Everyone can benefit from getting their expenses in order

Back-to-school means back-to-books and that often translates into a busy schedule and a limited expense budget. The best way to get through your time at school is to plan ahead and organize your expenses so that you know what to expect. As a student, you still have to eat, sleep, and have fun somehow, but there are plenty of ways to save money while doing so. Take some advice from the following money saving tips and see how far you can stretch your dollars.

Eat Well
Instead of spending your money purchasing meals at local restaurants, and picking up coffee on a daily basis, the best way to save is to brown bag your lunch. Planning your meals on Sundays will help alleviate the stress of figuring out what to eat during the week. Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times and remember to fill up at home or at the school water fountain.

Sleep Well
Whether you're paying a mortgage or rent, living expenses take up a large part of a student's budget. Living with a roommate, searching for inexpensive furniture and household items on Craigslist and Kijiji, and taking advantage of student specials on home insurance and utilities bills all contribute to saving money.

Play Well
Unfortunately cutting back on expenses is always easier said than done. Entertainment is usually the hardest hit, but there are many ways to still enjoy your time off after a long week or a tough exam is over. Pick up your local weekly paper to find free or student priced tickets to concerts and movies or gather a group of friends together to enjoy an outdoor sport. Go to the library to borrow a book or magazine, visit an apprentice hairstylist for a lower price, and hit your local community centre instead of forking over money for a monthly gym membership.

Balancing School and Family
Deciding to go back to school while raising a family is tough work. It involves a balancing act between school expenses and family expenses. Keep both budgets organized by planning well in advance: find out how much this semester and next semester's books are going to cost and what fees are associated with your child's soccer club or swim lessons. Instead of paying for expensive daycare, see if you can arrange your school schedule to finish early. Switching to public transportation to get to your classes cuts down on car expenses and walking your child to school will save on school bus fees. Get creative with ways to save and you just might find new ways to spend more time with your family and less money on school.