Spending money is one of the biggest temptations as a college student. So it is essential that students know how to manage it, says Student Awards Officer, Elaine Catell.
“It’s very important so they can plan for their academic year, their breaks within school. If you’re not going to work through the summer, it relieves stress if you’re worrying about money and trying to work hard at school,” says Catell.
She says sometimes students are hesitant to keep a budget because they look at as more of restriction to spend, rather than something they will benefit from. She adds that budgets tell you how much you have left.
Catell says one of the main reasons students get into financial problems is the misuse of money. A lot of the time students are not aware how much money they are actually spending. “If you ask somebody what they spend, they’re not going to be able to tell you.” The way the money gets misused is the “over spending,” She says “What students don’t realize is that $2 coffee at Tim Hortons twice a day really adds up at the end of month.”
Managing money is on the minds of many students.
“I think it’s really important because you don’t want to fall into a lot of debt in the future, and as soon as you’re done your program you want to be able to pay it off,” said Jasmine Hassanali, a Nursing Prep student. “I think the main reason we fall into debt is that we use too much money towards other things.”
Brittney Brooks, a Science and Engineering student who lives on campus, says students have to know how to manage their money.
“If you’re paying rent like I am, you live off campus, and it’s kind of annoying having to buy groceries and that kind of thing,” she says, “When you live on your own, it’s a little more different than having money to spend every single day on whatever you want.”
Justin Painter, another Science and Engineering student says the reason why students go in debt “is the misuse of money.”
Another way students end up going in debt is signing up for credit cards, according to Catell.
“Beware of those,” She says.
Banks will often pitch advertisements to students and offer an award or scholarships, but will make the student get a Visa card.
“You get the Visa and sometimes its $500 (on the card) but most of the times it’s $1,000, which isn’t a lot of money for a bank, but it’s a lot of money for a student.”
Students sometimes use this as an opportunity to spend money, but often find themselves in trouble, and can take students “years and years” just to pay off, she says.
Students at Durham College can visit the Financial Aid and Awards office located in the Student Service Building if they need financial assistance. They can come to the office in person where a financial aid officer is available from Monday to Friday at the Oshawa campus, and Monday to Thursday at the Whitby campus for quick appointments.
Students can book long appointments in My Campus in the ‘DC Financial Aid tab.’
The Financial Aid office offers financial literacy workshops for students that need help with money, as well as an Online Budget Calculator that calculates your income and expenses for you.