To determine whether you need a part-time job, how much you should save before starting university, and how to allocate your budget, you need to know how much you’re likely to spend every month. Since every student is different, there’s no standard figure. Instead, you’ll need to consider each of your expenses and determine where your money will be coming from.
What Expenses Will You Have?
The biggest expense at university is tuition. The good news is you can often avoid paying tuition fees until later by taking out a loan. Alternatively, you may qualify for a grant or receive a scholarship to avoid paying a chunk of tuition fees entirely.
Other big expenses you’ll have include accommodation, textbooks, and possibly transport (such as if you want to have a car at university and will need to cover all the related costs or if you’ll be attending school far from home and plane tickets may be expensive). You’ll also have living expenses like food, clothing, entertainment, school supplies, and personal items.
Calculate how much each of these will cost based on what you (or your parents) currently pay, by talking to other students, and by researching prices for your location.
How Much Will You Receive from Your Parents?
Many students receive a monthly allowance from their parents, especially during the first year when they may not have had the chance to earn any money yet. Your parents may transfer an amount to you or provide you with a credit card to pay for essentials. It’s also important to know what your parents expect you to do in an emergency — for instance, will they be able to lend you money but expect you to pay it back?
Covering the Rest of Your Expenses
If your allowance is not enough to pay for everything you want to do at university, you’ll need to find other ways to cover your costs. Finding a job is the easiest way to build up funds. You can work between semesters at seasonal jobs or year round with a part-time job. If you work throughout the year, you may be able to pick up extra shifts during your spring and winter breaks to increase your earnings.
An alternative option is to start a side hustle, such as housesitting, tutoring, or delivery driving. This will allow you to work more whenever you have the time.
Try to avoid spending all the money you earn. It’s important to have a fund for unexpected expenses and opportunities. Plus, it’s a good idea if you can graduate with some savings, especially if you want to take some time off before searching for a full-time job or if you’d like to start paying off your student loans immediately.
Exactly how much you spend will depend on factors like your lifestyle, where you’re attending university, and your accommodation. Kingston, Ontario, students can save money without sacrificing comfort by living at Foundry Princess. Our affordable suites have everything you need from student housing — along with some extras to make your time at university extra special. For instance, we have a rooftop patio, outdoor swimming pool, dedicated study spaces, and much more. Book a tour before you sign a lease.