Five Ways Students Can Save Money

Debbie

POSTED BY

Debbie Saleem

Associate Financial Advisor

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September means students are heading back to class. Every dollar counts when you’re a student – here are five tips on stretching that cash.

1) Textbooks
Many textbooks can now be found for free online at sites such as www.opentextbc.ca. If you can’t find your textbook online, consider buying it used at the campus bookstore. Facebook also has loads of “Used Textbooks” groups you can join. If you do have to buy a new physical book, compare the price at the campus bookstore with online retailers. And if you keep it in good condition, you can then sell it at the end of the semester.

2) Food
Eating out is convenient, but it’s expensive. Packing a lunch and cooking your own food will save you tons of money. Find out where the microwaves are located at your campus so you can warm up your food. And if you must buy a coffee, skip the fancy lattes – they add up fast! Get a nice travel mug or Thermos and bring your own coffee with you.

3) Retail discounts
SPC is a student membership that provides discounts at participating retailers across Canada, both in-store and online. It’s worth the $10/year membership fee to sign up for an SPC student discount card at www.spccard.ca. Also, make sure to always keep your student ID card with you. Whenever you’re at a store or restaurant ask if a student discount is available – they aren’t always advertised.

4) U-Pass
The U-Pass program gives students* in Metro Vancouver access to transit services at a significant discount. It’s automatically charged with your tuition. You can’t opt out of this fee, so you might as well use it. While not as convenient as driving to campus, taking transit will save an enormous amount of money otherwise spent on gas, insurance, parking, and maintenance.

5) Dental / Health plans
If you are already covered by your parents’ health and dental plan, you may have the option to opt out of the ones provided by your university/college. Check www.studentcare.ca to see if your school is on the list or contact the institution to see if this is an option. Note that you will need to opt out each year, and only during the “Change of Coverage Period.”

Best of luck with your studies!

*Public post-secondary schools in Metro Vancouver only