RateSupermarket.ca hands out the money grade – plus $5,000 in prizes and scholarships
November 12, 2013: Toronto, Ontario – The academic session may be only half over, but many students have already determined how they’ll fare financially this year. Managing tuition, loans and living expenses can prove challenging even for seasoned seniors – to say nothing of frosh with newfound financial freedom.
RateSupermarket.ca, Canada’s comprehensive financial rates comparison site, is offering students the chance to check in with their money habits – and the opportunity to fix them – with a $2,500 scholarship plus $2,500 in bonus prizes.
“Post secondary school living can be the perfect storm for forming poor financial habits that’ll affect students far beyond graduation,” says Penelope Graham, editor of RateSupermarket.ca’s Money Wise blog. “We want to help students identify potentially damaging money management habits early on, so they may embark on a future of financial success post-grad – not years of high interest debt repayment.”
A previous Cost Of The Future study conducted by RateSupermarket.ca found the average payoff timeline for the average Canadian four-year undergrad to be 14 years.
Students can enter to win a scholarship, and receive their money grade, by filling out RateSupermarket.ca’s Budget Report Card. Scholarship winners will be selected on January 31, 2014.
Top Tips For Stretching Student Dollars
Banish fees from your wallet: Cash is at a premium these days – so don’t pay precious dollars on your personal finance products! Pick a student credit card that won’t charge you an annual fee, and a no-fee chequing account that won’t limit your transactions.
Start saving… even a little bit: We know it seems impossible not to use every dollar of your tight student budget – but starting healthy savings habits early will put you in great financial standing when the dollars do start rolling in. An option like a high interest savings account will earn interest on even scant amounts.
Invest in a debt free future: Have some extra cash that you can get by without? Lock any large sums into an interest-earning GIC that’s timed to mature at graduation. Voila – a few extra dollars to help make your student loan payments while you focus on the important stuff (like job hunting!).
Brush up on budgeting: Rent, food, clothes, entertainment – Don’t let a limited cash supply dig you into debt. An effective budget can help you balance it all. Don’t forget to set some aside for that well-deserved study break!
Get interest savvy: Chances are, you’ve got a few years of debt repayment ahead of you… but will you be paying even more in interest? If you’re stuck in a debt spiral, consider other options. For example, switching your credit card debt to a low balance transfer option can give you an interest-free break, helping you pay off your principal debt even faster.