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Back To School – Are you truly ready for the new school year?

From 2014 to 2018, Canadian universities’ tuition fees are expected to increase 13%. On a positive note, BC’s are only expected to increase by 6% … nothing compared to Quebec’s projected 22% rise or Manitoba’s 19% (Babbage, 2014). But don’t be fooled, with provincial funding for universities and colleges decreasing across the country and down an approximate 23% over the last two decades (Canadian Federation of Students), students everywhere feel the financial pinch.

saving-mistakes Although our tuitions may not be rising as intensely, students in BC are not immune to the additional fees institutions create to cover costs. Examples of these types of fees include student association fees, facility fees, athletic fees, and the list goes on.

Now, we don’t want to pay anymore than what we are already paying for our education, but if not us, who will cover the costs to maintain and even improve our post-secondary institutions?

This, of course, is up for debate, and with no visible end in sight, we must be sure to manage ourselves financially constantly.

As we return from our summer ‘vacations’, the majority of us are sure to have money stored away for the upcoming nine months. Whether it be from the part/full time jobs we held the last three months, already secured student loans, or the bank of mom and dad, it is essential to have a plan for this money if you hope to remain comfortable throughout the year.

So the question is then, do you have a plan? And does this plan cover all the bases of a student’s life (i.e. coffee, textbooks, supplies, club membership fees, rent/utilities/Wi-Fi, car insurance, gas, parking, bridge tolls, groceries, networking events, family/friend birthdays, holidays, and, again, the list goes on.

If you have already thought about all of this, you’re ahead of the game, and I hope you find the part time job of your dreams. If not, take some time during this first week to determine where you stand financially and account for all the foreseeable income and expenses this semester will bring. This will help you figure out if you’re going to be able or unable to survive the upcoming months with what you already have and what you are going to generate.

Here are a couple great resources to help you plan and budget: