Money Talks eNews Archives

Subscribers of the Money Talks eNews receive financial tips and tricks deposited into their inbox every month. Content from previous editions of the e-newsletter can be found below, organized by distribution month.

2020 eNews

November 2020 eNews

No matter where you’re starting with your financial knowledge, there’s always more to know! Understanding your money is the first step to financial success. Check out the various resources below to boost your financial literacy:

  • To start, take the Government of Canada’s Financial Literacy Quiz to see how your knowledge and financial literacy skills stack up! 
  • Found yourself in financial trouble due to the pandemic? Check out these tips on getting through a financial emergency
  • Are you sometimes short on cash at the end of the month, or feel unable to save for the things you really want? Learn how to balance your income with your expenses by building a budget.
  • Many people have to borrow money to pursue schooling, and that’s okay! This type of borrowing is called credit and it must be used wisely. Learning about credit and debt management will help ensure you borrow responsibly. 
  • Visit the Canadian Financial Literacy Database for resources, events, tools, and information on various financial topics including budgeting, money management, insurance, saving, investing, and taxes.
  • Browse our Money Talks Webpage for more information on our various financial programs and strategies to achieve financial success.
October 2020 eNews

While eating balanced, nutritious, enjoyable meals is important, it doesn’t have to break the bank! Check out our tips for managing the munchies on a budget:

  • Make your lunch. Try to limit the amount you eat out instead of bringing your own food. If you’ve typically been eating out every single day, try reducing that by one day each week until you are only eating out once in a while. 
  • Utilize the Campus Food Bank. They offer virtual cooking classes where you can learn how to make meals that taste great but are easy on the wallet, or take part in their hamper program
  • Find savings on FlashFood. This app helps you find discounts on fresh food items like meat and produce that are nearing their best before date at grocery stores across Canada. 
  • Get inspired by cookbooks. The U of A Libraries have a huge variety of cookbooks you can borrow for free. Check out some of the best cookbooks for beginners here
  • Spruce up the basics. Let’s be honest - ramen is a student staple! Level up your instant ramen game with this Perfect Instant Ramen recipe
  • Share the love. Connect with some classmates for a bring-your-own-lunch style physically-distanced meal. This encourages eating cheaply while preserving the ‘going out to eat’ community aspect of food enjoyment.
September 2020 eNews

We understand that starting a new semester comes with a number of new costs, and we want to ensure you feel comfortable and confident managing your finances during this transition. We have prepared a number of budgeting tips to help you get started successfully: 

  • Build a budget. If you don’t already have a budget, make one! Use your bank statements to assist you with allocating dollar figures to each of your expenses. We have also prepared a budget template to help you get started.
  • Evaluate your current spending. You may have had more extraneous cash to spend during the summer when expenses were lower; consider what you can cut out now that the school year has begun. Even making small changes can make a big difference - such as limiting the amount of times you eat out during a week.
  • Create a financial vision board to help you stay on track. Being able to visualize what you want to save money for can help inspire you to stick to your budget. 
  • Set SMART goals. Ensure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. For more information on setting SMART financial goals check out this website.
  • Save first, spend later. Setting up an automatic transaction with your banking institution so a certain amount immediately goes into your savings account on days when you get paid is a great way to save without having to think about it. It is much easier to save in the beginning, rather than trying to put money into savings at the end of the month when you have already over-spent. 
  • Don’t let your grocery bill eat up your budget. The Campus Food Bank can help relieve the financial stress that may come with grocery shopping. They also offer virtual cooking classes where you can learn to make easy, cheap meals from the comfort of your home. 
  • Adopt a spending mantra. Use this as a guide for how you spend, such as “will this item bring me happiness”, or “I will wait 24 hours before making any purchases over [fill in dollar value here]”. 
  • Review your budget. Once you have been budgeting for a full month, review your results. Have you been spending within your budget? If you overspent in one section, brainstorm ways to reduce this spending or edit your budget to accommodate this higher expense, such as identifying a different category you can reduce spending in. 
April 2020 eNews


Learn about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

The federal government recently announced a variety of financial supports for students totaling $9 billion. The largest portion of funding would be from the proposed CESB, which will support eligible students with $1,250 per month from May through August. These funds would be available to all Canadian students attending a Canadian post-secondary institution who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (you can find more about the CERB here). Students who have recently graduated but have not yet secured a job will also be eligible for funds from the CESB.

The CESB isn't approved legislation yet so be sure to keep up with the announcements regarding this program in the coming weeks. You can read more about what is being proposed for the CESB here.

Temporary Changes to Canada Summer Jobs Program

The federal government has announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will provide employers with a subsidy for summer student wages that could help create up to 70,000 jobs for Canadian students. They have also pledged additional measures to aid students, which at time of publication have not yet been announced.

The Alberta Government Offers Support to Individuals

The Government of Alberta's COVID-19 website outlines several initiatives to support Albertans affected by COVID-19, such as tax changes and service payment deferrals.

Student Loan Repayment Deferral

Both Alberta Student Aid and the National Student Loan Service Centre have announced that all student loan payments will be paused for 6 months starting April 1. This applies to those who have student loans in repayment and will not impact current students and/or students who will be continuing their studies in the spring/summer or Fall 2020.

Financial Support from the University of Alberta

If you are facing a financial challenge and are in need of funding, please see our Bursaries webpage for more information.

University of Alberta's Community Social Work Team

With resources for everything from mental health supports to housing and food security options, their website is full of information to assist you.

Emergency Financial Planning

If you are experiencing a financial emergency related to COVID-19, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Determine the gap between your income and your expenses.
  2. If your income has been disrupted or you have been laid off, start by finding out if you qualify for Employment Insurance Benefits (note that international students ARE eligible for EI) or other government programs, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
  3. Once you know what money you can expect through those programs and/or any alternative income sources, look to where you can lower expenses. Although we don't usually recommend slashing your budget in a financial crisis, pausing or cancelling certain costs may be necessary.
  4. If possible, use any money that has been freed up to pay down your debt so if you have an income disruption down the road, you won't have to make those minimum payments every month. You will also save money on interest in the long run. If it is not possible for you to pay down your debts at this time that's no problem - don't be hard on yourself! Just remember to always pay your minimum monthly payments and contact your lender ASAP if you cannot make a monthly payment.
  5. If you don't have debt, start to build an emergency fund that covers your spending and bills for at least a month. Ideally this emergency plan would cover 3-6 months but that is not realistic for everyone so start with what you can; even a small amount saved could help you avoid putting expenses on your credit card or adding to/taking on other debts.
  6. Keep up to date with the latest financial information and benefits - the Get Smarter About Money website has lots of helpful information!


Did you know 48% of Canadians are less than $200 away from insolvency? In times of crisis, it's important to have an emergency financial plan in place. Here are a couple tips on how to manage your budget during an emergency:

Contact creditors as soon as possible, before missing any payments. By doing this, the companies are made aware of the situation and can even share information about what measures they are putting in place to help.

Get help from credit organizations. By speaking with an accredited financial counselor, such as the Credit Counselling Society, you can access a counsellor who can help you with your finances and budget, completely free of charge.

Put together a budget and stick to it. If you find yourself out of work or if you are forced to use employment insurance, your salary will likely be significantly impacted. A budget will help you keep track of your finances in this financially unstable time.

Create a weekly budget rather than a monthly one. This will give you more control of your spending and allow you to recognize earlier if you have overspent.

Refrain from purchasing small items that don't hold much value but can quickly add up. These include chocolate bars, music downloads, app downloads, and coffee.

In addition to these tips, both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta have initiated measures to support Canadians financially during this time.

If you are in crisis and are in need of emergency funding, please see our Emergency Funding webpage for more information.

March 2020 eNews

Take the Government of Canada's Financial Literacy Self-Assessment Quiz to see how your financial literacy knowledge and skills compare to other Canadians.

It can be daunting to start your financial journey, but consider these easy ideas to help you get started:

Create a financial vision board to help you stay on track.

Set specific financial goals using numbers and dates to outline what you hope to accomplish.

Recognize where you are now. Do you have any savings? How much debt do you have? How many credit cards do you have?

Adopt a spending mantra to use as a guide for how you spend, such as "will this item bring me happiness", or "I will wait 24 hours before making any purchases over [fill in dollar value here]".

Join us for a Money Talks session to learn more about your finances!

February 2020 eNews

Gifts can add up, but showing someone you care doesn't have to be expensive. If you want to spread a little love this Valentine's Day while keeping your costs down, try these ideas:

• Instead of purchasing a card, try making your own! You could write a poem or a love note instead of traditional greetings.

• Chocolate and sweets are a romance staple but they don't need to break the bank. Why not make your own chocolate dipped strawberries.

• Flowers don't need to be expensive to be impactful; a single rose can be just as meaningful. You could buy a potted plant or make a paper rose for a longer lasting option.

• When it comes to a night out, the costs can add up quick. Cook a romantic dinner at home or go out for dessert instead.

• Nothing says romance like financial planning (just us?). Taking the time to discuss and plan your financial health with your partner can be a great opportunity to connect over future goals and plans.

• Keep in mind that romance isn't all about gifts, flowers, or fancy dinners - it can be as simple as an act of kindness or reminding someone how grateful you are that they are in your life.

January 2020 eNews

It's a new year, so why not start it off right by setting a financial goal for 2020? You can make your goal a reality this year, or at least get closer to accomplishing it, by making sure it is SMART.

Specific: Define your goal carefully, including the total cost.

Measurable: Break down your goal into monthly milestones and a monthly cost. This will help keep you on track. Or you could even set weekly goals. The easier it is to track, the better.

Achievable: Look at your current budget and see where you can cut other costs so you can afford to put money away for this new goal each month.

Realistic: If your goal isn't realistic, it's very unlikely you will stick with it. Consider all the aspects of your goal that impact the practicality of it, including time of year and unexpected expenses.

Timely: Give yourself enough time to reach your goal so you aren't stressed, but don't make it too easy. You may not need as much time as you initially think.

For more information on setting SMART financial goals check out this website.

The new year is a great time to review any monthly or yearly subscriptions / memberships you have that may be eating away at your money. Go through your subscriptions and see if there are any that aren't important to you or that you no longer use.

Popular subscriptions and memberships to consider are:

• Gym memberships

• Spotify

• Netflix

• Magazine subscriptions

• Apple music

• Subscription boxes (food, clothes, makeup, etc.)

While you're at it, take a look at your last couple bank statements and see if you can reduce some of your monthly bills. This could include things such as:

• Cable

• Internet

• Cell phone

Check to see if there are student discount rates available for the things you do want to keep! These monthly costs may seem small but they can really add up over time.

2019 eNews

December 2019 eNews

The holiday season shouldn't be about spending money, but sharing moments with the ones you love. With these tips and tricks we hope you can have a winter break you enjoy while staying on track with your budget.

1. Determine your budget. Once you know how much you're allowed to spend, we recommend you put that money onto a visa gift card or into a separate bank account. Once the money runs out, you'll know you have spent all you can on holiday items!

2. Give personalized gifts. Think about gifts you can make instead of purchasing. For example, put together a family photo album for your parents or bake treats for your friends.

3. Gift your time. The winter break is a great opportunity to take advantage of your free time and give it to your friends or family. Have a movie night at home, go for coffee, or go for a walk and check ou the holiday lights. Even better, try giving back your time by volunteering in the community.

4. Create a gift budget. Many people try to purchase gifts that have a similar dollar value to the gift they will be receiving from that person, but you don't need to take on debt to match the gift you might receive. It's okay to be in different places in your financial journey. If this makes you uncomfortable, talk to that person ahead of time and set a maximum price on gifts that you can both afford.

5. Make a plan. Write down who you need to buy for and allocate a dollar amount to each person. This will allow you to keep your spending on track while you're out gift shopping.

6. Work together as a group. If your group of friends usually buys gifts for each other, why not do a group gift exchange, a potluck, or just an affordable group activity instead? You can also ask your guests to bring their own drinks if you are hosting a party.

7. Start your gathering after dinner. If your party starts later, people will have already had dinner and you will only need to put a few snacks out.

8. Shop generic and discount. If you're hosting a get-together, go for no name brand chips and crackers - no one can tell the difference! Check your local flyer to see what's on sale and use coupons.

November 2019 eNews

As we get deeper into the school year and the holiday break quickly approaches, financial stress can sneak up. Financial issues can have negative impacts on your academic success, so we have prepared a list of ways you can feel more optimistic about your financial situation.

• Don't overanalyze your balances owing unless you are going to make a payment. Often we will sit and stare at our outstanding debts and let the stress build. Staring at your debt isn't going to fix the problem. It's important to acknowledge your debt, but only continue looking at what you owe when you are going to set up a payment plan or make a payment.

• Identify your financial stress points. If having a high credit card balance keeps you up at night, put your credit card away for a couple months and only use your debit card. If you find yourself stressing over impulse purchases, try taking out a certain amount of cash per week and only allow yourself to spend that amount.

• Make one financial decision at a time. Don't try to solve every problem at once. Making too many choices can elevate your stress. Try implementing one new financial change per month. That will give you time to get used to one change before implementing another.

• Avoid temptation. Limit the amount of time you spend at places you like to spend money. If you know there's one store in particular you have to buy something at every time you go, reduce your visits and you will likely reduce your spending.

• Don't be afraid to ask for support. If you have questions about student funding options, contact Student Connect. If you are experiencing financial stress, contact the Credit Counselling Society. Lastly, try reaching out to a family member or friend to discuss how you're feeling. They may have been through a similar situation and can provide advice on how they overcame it!

Feeling like no matter how hard you try you just can't save money? Try setting spending priorities using the 1-2-3 system. This method will help you understand your needs versus your wants, allowing you to regain control of your spending.

Collect all your bank statements for September and October and number each transaction with a 1, 2, or 3.

Items that are essential for healthy living (e.g. basic food, shelter, and clothing) should be labelled with a 1. These are the items you absolutely can't live without.

Items that are not essential but are important to you (e.g. cell phone, internet, running shoes) should be labelled with a 2. These items are important and make your life more enjoyable, but they aren't necessities.

Items that are not essential and do not significantly improve your life (e.g. candy bars, app downloads) should be labelled with a 3. These items can be costly and are often a waste of money.

Now that you have all your transactions labelled, add up all yours 1s, 2s, and 3s to see how much you spend in each category - you might be surprised! Your goal for the next month is to eliminate all your spending on number 3 items and reduce your spending on number 2 items. After practicing this habit, you should feel less strapped for cash when your bills come due next month. You might even have some leftover cash to start building your savings!

October 2019 eNews

The Supplementary Bursary application is now open for the 2019-20 academic year! Learn more and check out the eligibility requirements here.

The application can be a little complex so here are some tips to help you get your application right on the first try!

• Read the instructions very carefully and ensure you have answered all questions, providing detailed explanations and required documentation.

• Bank statements for the full three months prior to your application are required, as well as August and September. For example, if you are applying in October, you must provide bank statements for the months of July, August, and September. If you are applying in April, you must provide bank statements for August, September, January, February, and March.

• Your bank statements must be in PDF format and include your name and a list of transactions, dates, and account balances.

• If you are married or common-law, you must provide your partner's financial statements as well.

• An explanation of deposits into your bank accounts is required if it is not easy to identify the source of money / support.

• If applicable, include documentation (i.e. receipts) for medical expenses, childcare, etc.

• Review your application from the point of view of someone who doesn't know you or your situation. Is your application clear? If so, hit submit!

Having trouble managing your spending? Try completing a no-spend day this month (or every month). With easy access to money through your phone or tapping your credit card, spending money can become a mindless habit. By the time the day is over you may have bought a coffee in the morning, at lunch, and then did some online shopping. Often times we don't realize how much money we spend each day! Having a day of no spending could save you a lot of money. Really want to challenge yourself to maximize your savings? Try having a no-spend day once each week.

September 2019 eNews

Welcome to a new school year! With the start of a new semester comes a list of new costs. A common but often miscalculated expense is textbooks, and we want to help you save as much as possible on your study materials.

• Before buying your textbooks, talk with your professor to see if they are actually required for the class. They may even be able to recommend a more affordable supplementary option.

• Check out the UAlberta Textbook Exchange Facebook group to see if any of your required textbooks are being sold by another student. Especially if you are taking an introductory course, you should be able to find the same book for a much cheaper rate than at the bookstore.

If you're in a language class, check if your required novels are available for a more affordable price at Chapters, Indigo, or Amazon. There may even be a digital version online you can purchase for cheaper.

Check out the University of Alberta Students' Union Used Book Registry to see if someone is selling a book you need.

Trade your textbooks! If you can find a student who has a book you need and you have a book they need, swap your books for free.

Visit the campus libraries to see if the books you need are available there.

Consider selling your own books! If you have any textbooks from the past semester you don't think you'll need anymore, sell them. You can use the money from the sales to purchase your books for the upcoming semester.

Need to apply for a student loan? Check out our Student Loans 101 video to help guide you through the Alberta Student Loan application from start to finish.

If you have accessed government loans in a previous academic year and don't need them this year, make sure you fill out the correct paperwork to ensure your loans remain interest and payment free! If you have Canada Student Loans, this can be done online by logging into your National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) account.

Questions? Contact Student Connect.

August 2019 eNews

Whether you're a returning student or this is your first year at the U of A, we have tips to reduce your living costs this school year:

• Leave your car at home. If you park on campus you will quickly learn how fast this cost can add up. Taking public transit will also save you money on insurance, gas, registration, and maintenance. Use your UPass!

• Say no to credit card companies. Often times, credit card companies visit campus at the start of the school year in an attempt to convince students to sign up. The cards they are promoting have very high interest rates, which can quickly eat up your budget if you maintain an outstanding balance.

• Consider living with roommates. This will not only reduce your cost of rent but you will also be able to split utilities and internet bills.

• Plan out your meals ahead of time. Cooking at home can save you up to $650 each month (*based on University of Alberta Supplementary Bursary application data). Need meal prep ideas? Check out budgetbytes!

• Apply for interest-free status on your loans. If you have previously taken out government student loans but don't need them this year, make sure you fill out the correct paperwork to keep your loans interest-free and out of repayment. Contact Student Connect if you have questions!

July 2019 eNews

The summer months don't have to be expensive. Try taking advantage of some of the free activities going on in Edmonton throughout the summer.

• Go swimming at one of the City of Edmonton's outdoor pools.
• Take a ride on the Funicular.
• Hang out with friends and have a campfire at one of the picnic sites in the city parks.
• Walk the streets and enjoy the atmosphere of festival season.
• Explore Edmonton's River Valley and trails.
• Enjoy the free live entertainment at Taste of Edmonton.
• Watch the K-Days Parade on July 19.
• Attend the Edmonton Carnaval.
• Check out the various farmers' markets throughout the city.

Lots of places offer student discounts so always bring your university student ID with you just in case!

June 2019 eNews
You can now apply for government student loans for the Fall 2019 / Winter 2020 academic year. Make sure you are enrolled in your classes for both the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 terms before applying, if you plan to apply for a loan in both terms. You apply for loans through the province in which you hold residency. If you need help determining your provincial residency, visit our website.

Need help applying for your student loan? Attend a free Student Loans 101 workshop! At these sessions, our expert advisors will walk you through the student loan application process, and if all goes according to plan you will submit your loan application by the end of the session!

If you have any questions about applying for government student loans, contact Student Connect.

Please note Student Loans 101 sessions are for students that meet the requirements to apply for Alberta Student Loans. If you have questions about the loan application process and are applying for student loan outside of the province of Alberta, please contact Student Connect.
May 2019 eNews

Want to take advantage of the summer break by making some extra money? There are a number of ways to add a little extra cash into your savings account:

• Have stuff sitting around you no longer use? One person's trash is another person's treasure. Consider selling the items you no longer use online, or throw a garage sale with some friends!
• Is your neighborhood bustling with pets? Consider starting your own dog walking business for the summer! It's easy and you can make your own schedule. Or try advertising a pet sitting service.
• Consider offering babysitting services during your free time.
• Offer tutoring services for high school students. They are still in school for another month!
• Have a hobby you absolutely love doing but haven't had the chance to turn it into a money making opportunity? Now's the time!
• Sometimes the best way to make money is to stop spending money. Put some time aside to go through your finances and see where you can cut costs. Identify your spending habits!
• Now that the snow has melted there are yards in need of a clean-up. Offer your services cleaning windows, painting fences, thatching and raking, etc.

April 2019 eNews

For student loans, full-time and part-time status is not based on course credits but rather on how many hours you are in class each week. If you are enrolled in less than 9 credits of courses, you may still be considered a full-time student in spring / summer. If you apply for a full-time loan when you are in fact part-time or vice versa, your loan application will not be approved and you risk not receiving funding for the spring / summer terms.

Due to the short semesters, there are really tight deadlines. To make sure you get your loan money, it's really important to get your application right the first time. For help navigating the loan application process, check out our online video. For additional questions, such as your registration status, contact Student Connect.

Receiving a scholarship or award can greatly relieve some of the financial burden associated with schooling, so we want to help you be successful. Here are our tips to write a strong application:

  1. Provide specific examples of your leadership achievements. We are looking for more than general volunteerism.
  2. Tell us how your leadership experiences have helped you grow.
  3. Explain how you have motivated and inspired others.
  4. Describe the depth of involvement you had in the leadership activities.
  5. Explain how your leadership efforts have made a positive impact in an organization, your school, or your community.
  6. Demonstrate your progression within leadership activities.
  7. Be creative! Creativity can set you apart from other applicants.
  8. Choose a reference that has worked directly with you or supervised you in your leadership role. It should be someone who can give specific examples and has first-hand knowledge of your leadership experience.

To apply for these competitions and to view eligibility requirements, visit our Undergraduate Academic Scholarships & Undergraduate Leadership Awards webpage.

March 2019 eNews

If you haven't already filed your taxes, here is a list of important documents you will need to have prepared:

  1. T4 Slip - You will / should have received this tax slip from your employer.
  2. T4A Slip - You will receive a T4A if you received scholarships, bursaries, prizes, or awards.
  3. T2202A Slip - You will receive this from the University of Alberta and/or any other institutions you were enrolled in and paid tuition at during 2018.
  4. If you took an exam for a professional certification, you may be able to include this on your tax return, as long as you have the receipt.
  5. If you have children, you may be able to claim some childcare expenses, as long as you have the receipts.

*Please note that everyone's situation is unique and may require additional information / documents.

There are a lot of important steps involved in filing your taxes, and it can become confusing to ensure you are on the right track. Get an overview of your tax filing obligations here.

If you typically complete your taxes using computer software, make sure the software is NETFILE certified so your tax return can be securely submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency directly.

We understand that filing your taxes can feel overwhelming, but even if it may feel easier to just avoid doing them altogether, there are a number of reasons it's important that you do:

  1. You can't apply for government student loans without having filed your previous year's taxes.
  2. You can carry over your tuition credits. When you're a student at a post-secondary institution, you receive a T2202A form that outlines the tuition fees you paid. This amount is a tax deduction. Because it's unlikely that you will need to use your Tuition Tax Credit while you're a student, you can carry this amount over to future years so you can save on taxes once you're in the working world! This amount is also transferable (up to a maximum) so if a family member is supporting your education financially, you can transfer the credit to them.
  3. You may be eligible for the GST / HST credit that is aimed to help low and middle-income families or individuals handle the additional cost of taxes on goods and services. This credit is paid out four times a year - free money! If you don't file your taxes, you will not receive this credit.
  4. It allows you to build up your RRSP contribution room. Each year, there is a maximum you can contribute to your RRSP (18% of your earned income, for 2018), but if you don't contribute, this amount carries over to future years. This means once you are in a financial position to start contributing to your RRSP, you will be able to contribute that year's maximum as well as any carry over from the previous years. If you don't file your taxes, you won't get this carry over room!
  5. You can claim the interest charged on any government student loans you are currently re-paying. If you don't currently need to use this tax credit, the claimed amount can be carried over to future years.
  6. You may be eligible for the Canada Child Benefit (CFB) if you have children under the age of 18, which is a monthly payment made to families from the government. The CRA uses information from your tax return to determine your payment amount. You can't receive this benefit without filing your taxes each year.

There are likely other benefits based on your individual circumstances. Please note that everyone's situation is unique and may require additional information / documents.

February 2019 eNews

The easiest way to save money during reading week is to have a staycation! However, if you booked some time away for the break there are a few ways to have fun without breaking the bank:

• Plan your trip during the week instead of on the weekend. Hotels are a lot cheaper during the week, and gas often is too!

• Try Airbnb or VRBO, instead of staying in a hotel. These places are often cheaper and include a place to cook so you can save on food costs as well!

• Check out as another cost saving accommodation method. Most people think hostels are just for travelling abroad, but there are lots of options for places in Banff, Canmore, Jasper, and throughout Alberta.

• Consider using one of the low-fare airlines if you're travelling outside of the province, such as Swoop or Flair, but make sure you are aware of any hidden costs.

• Don't forget to check the exchange rate if you are leaving the country. Things may cost you more than you expect.

• Pack your ONEcard so you can take advantage of available student discounts at various attractions.

January 2019 eNews
  • Kick off the new year with a new savings plan - the 52 week money challenge. It's simple. Each week of the year you save the number of that week in dollars! For example, in the first week you save $1, $2 in the second week, etc. By the end of the challenge / year you will have saved $1,378! This challenge is a great way to save for something special, or prepare for December, which is typically a high-spending month. Depending on your budget, you may want to try 50 cent increments instead of $1. If you do this, you will save $689 by the end of the challenge. This is a great way to ease yourself into saving!

    Want an easy way to track your savings each week? Download our 52 Week Money Challenge PDF to get started!

    The holiday season can be expensive but you can still start 2019 with a clean slate. Follow these steps to help get a handle on your finances:

    1. Write down all your debts (or bills that need to be paid) that you accumulated over the holiday season, and when they are due.
    2. Make a short-term budget / payment plan that includes all your living expenses and these new debt payment obligations. Depending on the amount of debt collected, your short-term budget might only be for a couple of weeks, or it may be for a few months. No matter the length, it's important to build a plan that you can stick to until the debt is gone!
    3. If you have multiple debts with various interest rates, it may take you a little longer to pay off these debts - and that's okay!
    4. Make sure you limit the use of your credit card and avoid taking on more debt during this time.
    5. Once those debts and bills are paid off, you can go back to your previous budget you were using before the holidays (as long as it was working).
    6. If you found your short-term budget manageable, consider sticking with it but now, instead of having to worry about paying off debts, put that extra money into a savings account each month! You could then use this money over the holidays next year and not collect holiday debt!