According to the 2011 RBC Student Savings and Spending Poll, 33% of first year post secondary students expect that they will have significant debt on graduation day, and are dealing with it by deferring worrying about it until then. Among this poll, females (44%) are more likely to be concerned than males (30%).
This worry is not unfounded; according to a January 2010 Statistics Canada report, the class of 2005 graduated with student loan debts averaging $18,8000; this is an increase from the $15,200 a decade earlier.
The fact is, we are seeing many post secondary students living alone for their first time, and the majority are not familiar with managing their finances. The entire process can be quite stressful.
Kavita Joshi, direct, Student Banking, RBC explained that having a budget at your disposal will help you stay on top of your debts and alleviate your financial stress. I for one cannot agree more with that statement. Managing your finances for the first time can be quite stressful, especially when you blow through your money and find yourself barely having enough to make it till the end of the month.
What were the other findings in the poll?
The RBC poll also revealed that 34% of students have said thanks to the online and mobile budgeting tools that are available. Thanks to the, they are able to spend less cash than they used to. However, the fact that having enough money for school is a worry for many students, and despite how much they worry only 20% plan and stick to a monthly budget.
Online financial management tools are a great asset, and if you bank with RBC, then you have myFinance Tracker at your disposal at no extra cost. You can see where your money is going and plan accordingly. If you are not an RBC client, but want to use an online financial management tool, then Mint is definitely another great option you have.
When dealing with your finances, the number one thing you need to have is a budget created and stick to it. Set the maximum parameters you can afford each month and see how you stand at the end of the month. From there adjust it and put any excess money from your budget into a savings or put it down on any of your debt.
You need to understand that if you do not stick to your budget then it is completely useless. Take time to plan, and then use it to take control of your finances.
Below you will find a great video RBC took that focuses on the students and their debt: