Heading off to college or university is a big milestone and a time that's filled with lots of excitement, and anxiety. Just like with most things in life, it pays to be prepared.

Studies have found that those who have a strategy for financial health save more money and are financially healthier. To avoid overspending, make sure you know what's coming in vs. what's coming out by tracking your spending to the dollar.

 

5 tips for an A+ on your student budget:

 

1. Make a budget and stick to it

 

Making a budget with the help of this student budget template is easy, sticking to your budget can be difficult. In the next points, I will show you how to make sticking to your budget simple.

 

2. Put yourself on payroll

 

If you’re funding your expenses through a student loan, stay within your budget by paying yourself on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis from your loan. By paying yourself on pay day, it will be much easier to gauge your spending and you will gain real-life experience in pay day excitement.

 

3. Put money aside for your necessities first

 

Consider this scenario. You check your bank account before you leave for the night and you see you have a few hundred dollars left. What you’re forgetting is that you haven’t paid for that utility bill yet.

 

You will avoid this by putting the money for bills in a separate place. Sometimes we’re in a rush and make mistakes, but segregating your money is a great way to ensure you’re never unintentionally tapping into your bill money for fun.  

 

4. Track and review your weekly spending

 

A budget means nothing if you don’t follow it. Put all your purchases on debit, or keep your receipts. Take a few minutes every week to see how well you’re sticking to budget. Don’t forget to make any necessary adjustments.

 

5. Draw a clear line between wants and needs

 

A 2:42am burrito isn’t filed as a grocery item. A late-night burrito is perfectly fine, if you have money left in your “Take Out/Order In” category from the budget template above.

 

Budgeting doesn’t mean restricting all spending to $0. Follow these tips and you will mitigate the stress of finance in your already stressful life. A good budget reflects what you can afford, or in some cases, what you are comfortable paying back once your university or college education is complete. Most of all, your well-planned budget makes your financial health better.

Halloween teaches us valuable financial lessons like budgeting candy, but it’s not all gum drops and lollipops. A retailmenot.ca survey found that Canadians spent $1 billion on Halloween in 2015. In fact, the Halloween industry is so large that it can support retailers who are only open for the season.

 

According to Global News, the average Canadian spends $52 per person on costumes.T he cost of costumes rarely reflects the quality. So why shell out so much money? Save yourself from the frightening cost of a costume by dressing up as an iconic movie or TV character in plain clothes. Don’t let the cost of Halloween costumes scare you away this year.

 

4 Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas from Your Closet

 

For men:

 

Marty McFly from Back to the Future

You will need white sneakers, a jean jacket, blue jeans, a white buttoned shirt, an orange vest and a red t-shirt.

Quote: “Wait a minute, Doc. A… Are you’re telling me you built a time machine… Out of a DeLorean?”

 

Ace Ventura from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

You will need to style your hair up and back in the iconic Ace Ventura style, a pair of black converse or boots, red striped pants or something similar, a floral pattern shirt, a white tank top and an ID card reading “Ace Venture Pet Detective”.

Quote: “That was close one ladies and gentlemen, of course in every contest, there must be, a loser. Lew-Who, Za-Her.”

 

For women:

 

Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family

You will need dark black mascara, a white collared blouse, a black long sleeve shirt, white stockings, a pair of black shoes and your hair in pigtail braids.

Quote: “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker colour”

 

Sandy Olsson from Grease

You will need red lipstick, a tight pair of black pants (preferably leather), a black shirt that shows off your shoulders and red high heels.

 Hang a leather jacket over your shoulder and do your hair to match Sandy’s to really sell this costume.

Quote: “Tell me about it, stud.”

 

Bonus: You can have a lot of fun dressing up as yourself in high school. Find an embarrassing photo of yourself and replicate the look.

A DIY costume will show off your creativity and make you the life of the party. Consider a costume from your closet before spending money at a retailer. The key to a great Halloween costume is making it fun, so memorize some movie quotes, dress up as your favorite character this year and save your money.

 

Simply put, financial planning is the PROCESS of meeting life GOALS through proper management of finances. Let the advisors and staff of Ward Financial Group/Manulife Securities Incorporated help guide you towards those goals, whatever they may be.

 

Wealth Creation

Wealth Protection

Wealth Transfer

 

The PROCESS is similar to planning a trip and the financial plan can be compared to the road map itself.  With individuals and their GOALS, some are big, some are small, but most importantly they have to be yours! You can run into problems, face adversity, become overwhelmed when comparing personal goals to everyone else’s goals, or even worse, start to adopt them as your own. At Ward Financial, we start by becoming clear, really clear, about client’s goals.

 

Wealth Creation, Wealth Protection, and Wealth Transfer are fundamental outcomes realized when goals are determined. And whether dealt with individually or comprehensively, let us help provide the necessary advice to reach those goals

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does financial planning work?

Financial planning is a process that sets you on a course toward achievement of your life goals through the proper management of your financial affairs. Financial planning is more than budgeting and cutting back. The right financial plan balances what you need and want today with the personal goals you have for the future.

What is comprehensive financial planning?

A comprehensive (or integrated) financial plan looks at the big picture to consider all relevant aspects of your life, including budgeting, investing, tax, retirement, estate planning and debt or risk management. A professional financial planner will take into account various aspects of your financial situation, identifying and analyzing the interrelationships across sometimes conflicting objectives to help you meet your goals.

Does professional financial planning really make a difference?

Research shows that Canadians with financial plans feel they are saving more, living well, and experiencing higher levels of overall contentment in their lives. The Value of Financial Planning, a three-year longitudinal study which included close to 15,000 Canadians, was commissioned by FPSC® and the Financial Planning Foundation.
The study revealed that, regardless of net worth, Canadians who engage in comprehensive financial planning report significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being than those who do no planning or only limited planning. Those with comprehensive plans felt more on track with their financial goals and retirement plans, felt they had improved their ability to save in the past five years, felt more confident that they could deal with financial challenges in life and felt better able to indulge in their discretionary spending goals.

What letters should I look for behind my planners name?

The CFP® mark stands for Certified Financial Planner® professional, long recognized as the gold standard in financial planning in Canada. The CFP designation ensures excellence in financial planning through extensive education, a rigorous standardized national examination process, comprehensive continuing education requirements and accountability to FPSC for a code of ethics, practice standards and the rules and regulations of a professional body.

Why is it important to deal with a CFP professional?

With a focus on all aspects of your finances, a financial planner impacts your financial well-being and your ability to meet life goals, today and in the future. Yet in most Canadian provinces, there is no legislated standard in place for those who offer financial planning services. With the exception of Quebec, people who call themselves financial planners are not required to obtain any credentials whatsoever.
The CFP® designation provides assurance that the design of your financial future rests with an appropriately qualified professionals who will put clients’ interests ahead of their own.

How can I be sure my financial planner is a CFP professional?

Look for the distinctive CFP® certification marks after a financial planner’s name. An individual may only use CFP®, the words Certified Financial Planner® or CFP logo in Canada with the authorization of Financial Planning Standards Council. You can also check FPSC’s Directory of CFP® professionals and FPSC Level 1 Certificants in Financial Planning™ to find a planner or verify a planner’s status.

 

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