The need for budgeting doesn’t stop when the school year ends; there can be temptations to take trips and spend cash carelessly during the summer months. It’s important to remember the money you make now is going to support you during the next school year and can make life easier after you graduate.

I’ve seen the stress friends of mine have experienced after graduation: The years of hard work and dedication leading to that dream job are overshadowed by the realization of their debt. One of my friends recently graduated with an undergraduate degree and a $60,000 student loan debt. He’s looking for work, but for him the paycheque is what matters most now. The reality is that he will be in debt for many years. If this sounds like a scenario you might find yourself in, it’s not too late to focus on using your summer to find work and keep your student loan debt manageable. But you need to have a plan and be strict about following a budget.

For many, student loans are a necessity in order to invest in the future. But, it’s important to only spend what you need. Students are commonly under financial constraint, so when you hear the expression “living like a student,” embrace it. Being a student is your chance to live within a limited budget without the pressure to spend.


Keep up your student living throughout the summer and save up your earnings so in September your bank account will be ready to help you through the year. By keeping your debt low, you will be able to afford “living like a graduate” sooner.

Jacqueline Hansen is a student ambassador at Seneca College.

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