Money Talks – How cash-savvy are you?

November is Financial Literacy Month! How money-savvy are you? Here, we get tips from Financialmartin Aid and Student Awards Coordinator Martine Plouffe about spending, saving, and understanding fee deferments.  

Tip #1: Have a financial check-in.

We are at the halfway mark for the term already. (Enter shocked face emoticon.) Do you have enough to make it through the term and the holidays?

You might need a financial check-in: it’s never too late to make yourself a budget. This will give you a realistic perspective on where you are financially. Evaluating your spending habits for the past two months will give you a pretty solid indication of how you’re doing. You may have to make spending cuts (bye bye to Venti Chai Tea Lattes every day).

My fancy Starbucks habit used to cost me an unbelievable $375/per term! When you calculate how much you’re spending each month, you realize how quickly it all adds up – and it may be much more than you realized.

Tip #2: Save Money: Stretch those dollars.

  • photo-1459257831348-f0cdd359235fAlways use your student discount card or coupons to shop like a pro (or Gail Vaz-Oxlade). My sister is a professional shopper and refuses to pay full price (#sheisaballer). A little research can go along way! The best and most essential app of my life: Flipp. Check it out for weekly shopping discounts … it’s a life changer.
  • Consider buying used on websites like Kijiji (no one will know the difference). Find books, clothes, furniture … you name it, someone is probably selling it. 
  • Go grocery shopping at Loblaws on Tuesdays: It’s 10 per cent off for students! (I wish I was a student … tried to use my staff card once but got busted.) 10 per cent might not seem like much, but think about how much 10 per cent over the course of the year will save you – the key is that even small steps can add up over time and make a difference.
  • Bring your own lunch or get the special at the Marketplace Food Court.
  • Make DIY gifts or cards for holidays – a homemade card will go a long way (everyone loves my stick figure cards!).

Tip #3: Defer your fees

If you aren’t paying your tuition in full by November 15, you need to defer your fees.

If you’re an OSAP student, and you don’t defer your fees by November 15, then you have to pay the $150 late fee. Worse still: No deferral = No registration for Winter 2017 = No confirmation of enrollment = No OSAP money.

Non-OSAP students must pay their fees in full OR defer their fees by November 15 in order to be registered for Winter 2017.

The moral of this story? Defer your fees if you can’t pay in full by November 15! Be this person ☺, not this person ☹.

tumblr_n32fs5rygy1s2wio8o1_400 Tip #4: Those wonderful three-term programs and OSAP

The OSAP money you receive for FALL and WINTER also includes your SPRING money. Three term students have it special … and by special, I mean super tough. You HAVE TO BUDGET, because you will not be receiving a third installment from OSAP.

Budget accordingly (see tip #1 and #2).


Hope these tips help! If you’re struggling with budgeting, please reach out to Financial Aid and Student Awards for assistance. You can find out more information here.


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