Savvy savings for students

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(NC) If you’re a university or college student, or the parent of one who is leaving home budgeting is bound to be top of mind.

Creating healthy saving and budgeting habits will go a long way towards reducing stress now and being able to afford a good lifestyle in the future. Here are some ways to get a young person’s finances on track as they gear up for the next chapter:

  • Create a budget to know exactly how much spending money is available and where overspending can be cut back. There are good inexpensive (or even free) online apps that can help set this up easily.
  • Categorize spending into needs versus wants, and don’t confuse the two. Needs are absolute staples, such as essential clothing, food and transportation, while that trendy blouse or concert ticket is most certainly a want.
  • A good rule of thumb is to keep wants (or discretionary spending) at 15 per cent or less of an overall monthly budget.
  • Buy used items whenever possible to save money, whether it’s textbooks, household items or clothes and accessories.
  • Don’t eat up savings by ordering or dining out too often. Taking advantage of grocery store specials and learning to prepare at least a few nutritious meals can benefit wallets and overall health. 
  • If itching for a new purchase, getting rid of old stuff first is essential. Start with a closet cleanout and give away anything that hasn’t been used in a while to a worthy organization like Diabetes Canada. Learn more at declutter.diabetes.ca.