It's not always easy to keep enough money in your bank account and maintain a good credit rating when you're a college or university student. In this age of consumerism when cellphones and brand name goods are so popular, it may be difficult to tell the difference between needs and wants. But just like learning new math formulas or milestones in history, it’s never too late to learn the basics of managing your personal finances.

 

If your financial obligations are keeping you awake at night, you probably need to spend more time on financial planning.

Prepare a budget and monitor your finances
Is the burden of a student loan too heavy? A budget is an excellent way to help you manage your finances, especially if you’re having difficulty paying off your debts. Monitor your finances closely: Keep your bills and write down everything you spend each day for a couple of months. This will give you a better idea of how much money you take in, how much you spend and how much you save.

 

With a budget, you’ll no longer feel guilty if you spend a few dollars at the movies or $20.00 for a restaurant meal, because you will have planned these expenditures and will know that they will not prevent you from paying your credit card bill.

 

You’ll find a budget worksheet and information on how to prepare a budget and avoid debt on tip sheets published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Making a Budget and Sticking to It and How to Beat That Debt, available at moneytools.ca.