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How to Effectively Manage Debt Going Back To School

Post-secondary education is an important milestone in your life, but it also may be the first time you have to manage money and student debt. Without having a plan in place, it can be easy to rack up high-interest credit card debt, especially during the back-to-school shopping season.

Here are some tips and resources that can help you get #University or #CollegeReady and avoid taking on new debt.

  1. Start saving now and plan for what you need

As a new or returning student to a post-secondary institution, your back-to-school costs are likely quite a bit higher than the nearly $900 Canadian family spent on back-to-school supplies.

You have additional costs that are quite higher than pens and binders. You will need to pay for:

  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Rent
  • Groceries
  • Transit passes or vehicle maintenance (gas and repairs)

It can quickly stretch your student budget thin. Getting a head start on saving for back to school is a crucial part of avoiding debt, but how much should you save before school begins?

  1. Make a list of what you need and cost it out

To figure out how much you will need to save for back-to-school supplies begins with writing out a list of what will you need. Next to each item on the list, estimate or research the cost of them and look for the best deal.

After you’ve done that for everything on your list, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how much you need to save. Be prepared the amount might be more shocking than you expect.

  1. Set a spending budget and stick to it to avoid taking on debt

It’s July now and that leaves you with roughly a month and a half before school begins to start saving and build a budget. Determine what you can reasonably save for during this time and set that as your spending budget.

Now, using your list of what you need to buy, prioritize the items based on the urgency that they are needed. Those items will be your guide to what needs to be bought with your back-to-school budget and what you can push off or spread out throughout the remaining of the school year. Make sure to track your spending if you’re using plastic. These financial apps can help you with that. Also, using cash is never a bad idea either.

  1. Take advantage of back-to-school savings tips and sales

There are an abundance of resources online that can help you save money when it comes to back to school and those savings can reduce the need to add to your debt, by allowing your spending budget to go further.

September is considered the best time to buy the previous year’s technology such as cameras, desktop computers, laptops, printers, and more; take advantage of these deals to save.

Also, check out these other great influencers and websites offering their best back-to-school shopping tips:

  1. Grow your financial literacy knowledge

The best way to know how-to effectively manage debt as you head back to school is by learning and developing good #PersonalFinance habits. Dealing with money and debt is a lifelong process. Knowing how to build a budget, where to get help with debt, and other methods of managing your money can give you a leg up as you go through school.

Continue to take what you learn and put it to good use for you; these personal finance bloggers are a great place to start growing that knowledge:

Don’t keep this financial and student debt knowledge to yourself! Start up a conversation about finances with other students you know or share this article with them. You can also spread the message by sharing this on Twitter or your favorite social media using #BacktoSchool and #DebtSolutions or #StudentDebt.

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