7 Tips To Better Manage Your Student Loan Debt

If you are an university or a CEGEP student, you have many responsibilities to deal with. If you have selected to obtain a student loan to finance your education, repaying StudentDebt-Postthat debt is a major responsibility that can stick with you for the months and years to come.   In order to decrease the stress that is associated with student loans debt, it is best to have a plan to pay back the money on time.

Here are seven tips to follow to better manage your student loan debt.

1. Know the lender’s conditions

Whether you are applying for your first student loan or an additional funding, it is vital that you be aware of the lender’s conditions.   The basic conditions can range from repayment schedules to interest rates.   Since the majority of loans are made available via the provincial government, you can read all relevant information online.   In addition, it is wise to understand your responsibilities and obligations before, during and after the time that you plan on studying.

2. Borrow Only What You Need

Your education is just like any other consumer good like an iPhone or a laptop in which you should know the price tag. Having an idea of how much you will spend on your education will help you in applying for the right amount of funding in the form of a student loan. By borrowing the amount of the money that you need (not want), you can have a manageable loan to repay.   It is very important to remember that your student loan money is meant to finance your studies and not your lifestyle.

3. Create A Budget and Stick To It

Creating a budget and sticking to it will make your life easier when it comes to repaying your loan.   Setting aside the money that your make from your job and the expenses you’re likely to have that semester, you can budget the right amount of money to repay on a monthly basis. The faster that you are able to budget for your loan, the faster that you will be able to lessen your school-related debt.

4. Increase The Size Of Your Monthly Payments

If you have already budgeted the minimum amount of your monthly payment, consider adding more money to it. By working a few extra hours or saving more by cutting further weekly expenditures (such as coffees or cigarettes), you can put more towards your education financing.   You will be surprise at how big of a difference an extra few bucks will make in terms of reducing the principal amount and especially, the interest.   Do not forget that the financial assistance funding offered by the provincial government are in the form of low interest loans and they should not be taken for granted in terms of repaying interest.

5. Automate Your Payments

By automating your payments, you will prevent yourself from ignoring the responsibility of repaying loans.   Using your budget, you can ask your bank to debit your account on a regular basis in the amount of what you owe the government.

6.  Avoid Using Other Forms of Credit

While having a student loan to repay during your academic career, it is wise to avoid using other forms of credit (i.e., credit cards and personal bank loans).   Not only does taking on additional financial responsibilities will add to your stress level if you cannot meet the obligations, it will affect the chances of obtaining future student loans and your credit history. If you must use a credit card to pay for books and other learning materials, be sure that the cash that will be used to pay the bill is in your bank account.

7. Make Some Social Life Sacrifices

Some students have difficulties managing their student loan debt can be linked to spending money in an irresponsible fashion.   Rather than setting aside money to pay down their student loan debt, students spend money on going out with friends and having an active and expensive social life.   By making a few social life sacrifices during a semester, you can save money to lessen the responsibility of paying back a loan that will take months or years to do so.

Once the government deposits the funds in your bank account, the money is meant to be used for your studies and to be repaid.   In order to repay the principle and interest in a timely fashion, it is wise to have a plan and commit to it.


8 Ways To Cut Costs For School

As the school year approaches, costs of getting a good education are on the minds of students and parents.   Tuition, books, supplies and other school-rated expenses are not getting any cheaper and will continue to be barriers to learning.

In order to afford access to a good education and overcome the barriers, students and backtoschoolparents must select to either find avenues to pay for the increasing costs (without going into debt) or cut costs associated with attending school. Each avenue does have its advantages and disadvantages, however; a decision must be made for the short and long term.

If you find that is it best to reduce costs, consider the following eight strategies:

1. Evaluate Your Course Load

Tuition is the main cost that students and parents must face at the beginning of each semester. Although students should complete their studies as soon as possible, taking on the appropriate course load will aid in managing the cost.   If you discovered that a full-time course load was too much to handle based on your overall performance at school, reduce the amount of courses that you plan to register for next semester.   The money that is not spent on the courses can be used for other expenses or be kept in the bank.

2. Buy Second Hand Textbooks

New school books are very expensive and buying second hand books should be a must for students looking to cut costs at the beginning of each semester.   Using various websites and bulletin boards at school, you can find individuals looking to sell their used books at a discounted price. In addition, purchasing used textbooks may contain highlighted information which will make studying easier over the semester.

3. Budget For Social Occasions

Even though attending school is about getting an education, it provides students with ample social occasions to meet with their peers.   It is important to remember that some of the occasions come with out-of-pocket expenses.   As a result, it is recommended that students select the right event to attend without breaking a budget. (Consider using a spreadsheet program to budget and forecast potential costs for each event.)

4. Eat Better

Eating at the school cafeteria and nearby restaurants can be expensive throughout the semester. Consider taking leftovers for meals and buying groceries to bring healthier lunches and snacks.   Eating better can help you save money on a monthly basis.   Consider the amount of money that you spend on junk food and drinks at school.

5. Forget About Fashion

Going to school is about learning and not about demonstrating your sense of fashion.   Buying a new pair of nice jeans should not be a priority when you must buy a textbook for a perquisite course.   Any money that you had planned to spend on clothing should be stay in your bank account for school-related expenses.

6. Do Not Pay Bank Fees

As a student that is enrolled in a post-secondary institution, you are eligible for a student bank account at your financial institution. A student bank account permits you to conduct transactions for free.   This will allow you to pay for books and other school related expenses via your debit card without incurring any fees. (Ask at your bank for the appropriate account that will fit your needs.)

7. Find Alternative Means of Transportation

Getting to and from school can be expensive depending on where you live. Whether it be by car or public transportation, you should attempt to reduce these transportation expenses. A possible strategy is to bike to school in months that the weather is nice which will allow you to pay less for gas or a transit pass during a semester.

8. Consider Shopping At Dollar Stores

For students shopping for school supplies, consider purchasing items at a dollar store. Everything from rulers to notebooks is available at discounted prices on a consistent basis.

Cutting cost for school is a necessity for individuals who wish to obtain an affordable education and not go into debt for years to come.   Reducing school expenses is not an easy thing to do on a regular basis, however; with the right approach, students and parents will have less of a burden of paying school related expenses at the beginning of each semester.


Comment se faire un budget

Tu as un projet que tu souhaites réaliser? Ou un objet que tu aimerais te payer? Tout comme Christian, apprends à calculer tes dépenses et tes revenus pour équilibrer le tout et te permettre d’économiser. Mais avant tout, il faut te fixer un objectif d’épargne! C’est si simple d’épargner quand on est bien outillé! C’est le moment de commencer!

7 Money Saving Options For The Future

Saving money for the future is not only a skill but a necessity. Whether it be for education purposes, to purchase your first a home or an emergency, saving money early in life involves having the right mindset and knowing where and how to put away extra cash.

Along with knowing how to spend money wisely to prevent overspending, here are 7 piggybankmoney saving options for the future.

1. Savings Accounts

Saving accounts are the basic money saving tools that every individual should have regardless of age.   From allowances to money left over after paying monthly expenses, saving accounts permits to put away cash in a safe and accessible location.   You have the ability to make withdrawals when needed, however; you will lose the power to make your money work for you by diminishing the interest that can be incurred.

2. High Yield Savings Accounts

For individuals that have the capability to set aside money on a monthly basis, a high yield account is another money saving option to consider.   As the name suggests, these accounts offer a slightly higher interest rate that an ordinary saving account. There are a variety of financial institutions (including virtual banks) that offer high yield accounts in which you may select from depending on their interest rates and related service fees. Accessing your cash in a high yield account is easy, however; some institutions may need 24-48 hours to transfer the funds into your chequing account.

3. Tax Free Savings Accounts

For individuals that would like to begin saving for the long term (i.e., more 5 to 7 years), tax free savings account is a great money management tool.   This specific savings account was established by the federal government to encourage citizens to save for the future by offering the opportunity to invest up to $5500 per year which will not be taxed. In order to be eligible for a tax free savings account, you must be 18 years or older.   You may withdraw money from the account without getting taxed on the amount.

4. Canadian Savings Bonds

Canada Savings Bonds were created in 1946 by the Government of Canada to help Canadians reach their savings and investment goals.   You can buy a bond for as little as $100 and expect a full interest payment when the bond comes to maturity.   You can select to cash in the bond before the maturity date, however; you will receive the amount invested plus all the interest earned for each full month that has elapsed since the issue date or until either the maturity date or the redemption date, whichever comes first.

5. Guarantee Investment Certificate

Guarantee investment certificates (GIC) allows individuals to place their savings in an investment for a fixed period of time.   The length of the investment period can range from a few months to years. Since the financial institution guarantees the return of the money invested, GIC are safe and offer little risky.   If you require your cash before the investment period comes due, you will incur a penalty.

6. Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

For individuals that wish to be prepared for costs associated with enrolling themselves or children in college and university, the federal government established Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP),   Through the plan, individuals can contribute to the fund without incurring any taxes on the savings.   If you save for a child age 17 and under, the federal government also puts money into the RESP.   As the individual is ready begin his or her studies, the money can be taken out of the RESP   and open for up to 36 years. It is important to know that they are fees associated with having RESPs.

7. Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)

Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) are usually reserved for individuals that would to save for their future after the age of 65.     Once you are employed, you are permitted to contribute up to 18% of income earned in the previous year.   To encourage you to contribute, the federal government does not tax you for the amount invested into your plan until you withdraw the funds or when you are the age of 65. In fact, there are situations where the government will provide you with a tax fund to encourage saving more in the future.   It is vital to remember that a RRSP is a tax deferral tool meaning that you are postponing paying taxes to government until your funds are made available to you so be prepared to pay the taxman in the future.

Please Note: Not all saving options may be suitable for all individuals depending on age and income.   It is best to investigate each option and ask a financial advisor at your bank.

Saving For School – Things To Remember

Although it is the  last week of July, it is never too late to think about saving money for school.

In this video, you will learn about some tips to assist you in saving cash while in school.   From planning your meals to buying course material, you will discover how to keep money in your pocket rather than spending it.

Billets et pièces en euro

L’euro est la monnaie unique de l’Union européenne depuis 1999 (la mise en circulation des monnaies et billet ne date que de 2002). Ce petit film officiel de la BCE (Banque Centrale Européenne) présente rapidement les pièces et les billets en euro. La conception des pièces et des billets en euro remonte à 1996. La vidéo présente les choix graphiques mais aussi quelques informations sur les protections des billets (signes de sécurité), ainsi que leur conception technique.

6 Key Rates to Pay Attention to For Personal Finance

On a daily basis, we are flooded with information relevant to personal finance.   ratesWhether it is via the newspaper, radio and television, understanding financial information can be challenging, however; it is necessary to become financially literacy to manage money efficiently.

Here are six of the most common rates that you should know especially if you are seeking to plan your financial future.

  1. Prime Interest Rate

The prime interest rate is the most often mentioned rate in the news. Commercial banks charge this rate to their most credit-worthy customers which are mostly made up of large companies.   The prime rate is also important for you because it directly affects the lending rates which are available for mortgages, small businesses and personal loans. Your bank will subtract a few percentage points from the prime rate to set their own rates to apply to their respective financial products.   The prime interest rate can be found at the Bank of Canada’s website.

  1. Foreign Exchange Rates

Planning a trip out of the country in the near future? Consider monitoring foreign exchange rates.   Exchange rates are determined in the foreign exchange market, which is open to a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers where currency trading is continuous: 24 hours a day except weekends. Using websites such as xe.com or gocurrency.com, you can track and figure out how much the exchange rates are (minus the service fees charged by banks or currency exchange houses).   Knowing the particular exchange rate will assist you in establishing a budget for your trip.

  1. Interest Rates On Savings

As an individual who wish to start saving money on a regular basis, you should be aware of which financial institution is offering the best interest rates on savings.   These particular rates are calculated by using the prime interest rate and the amount of money in your account.   Depending on the type of saving account, not all banks offer the same interest rates. Virtual banks such as Tangerine, offer higher rates that traditional retail banks. For more details, visit the banks’ websites to compare their interest rates.

  1. Credit Card Rates

One of the common misconceptions regarding credit cards is that all of them are offer the same interest rate. Although the rate is calculated by the two methods: i) Average Daily Balance Method and ii) Daily Balance Method, you can use the web to learn more about current card rates.   By visiting CreditCard.com Canada, you can have a comparison of the different selection of cards based on low interest rates and other criteria. (If you find a better credit card rate and incentives during your research, do not be afraid to switch.)

  1. Personal Loan Rates

If you see yourself in need of money in the short term, a personal loan from a financial institution is an option. Rates on personal loans are meant to generate a profit for the bank while the money is in your pocket. When applying for a loan, you must investigate the fixed and variable rates that are being offered.   For each rate, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider depending on a number of factors including the amount of the loan, how long it will take you to repay the total amount, etc.   It is best to consult the websites of different banks to know about the different rates on loans.

  1. Sales Tax Rates

Planning on taking a trip of out the province of Quebec? If you are planning to spend money in different Canadian provinces, then you should know about the three types of sales tax rates: Provincial sales taxes (PST), Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).   In some provinces such as British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, both the PST and GST are charged on the original price on a good or service. A Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a single tax that contains the combination a provincial tax and federal tax. Provinces that levy HST are Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon are the jurisdictions that only charge GST to purchase items.   Visit the Retail Council of Canada website to know the specific sales tax rates in each province and territory.

In order to become increasingly financial literate for your future, it is recommended that you take the time to read everything regarding personal finance on a daily basis and monitor the different rates that will affect the money in your pocket and bank account.