Managing Your Finances

Managing your finances can be one of the most challenging aspects of living on your own. There are several aspects of managing your finances including:

  • Budgeting
  • Financial Aid Options
  • Bank Loans/Lines of Credit and Credit Cards
  • Tips on Saving Money

If you have any questions or concerns about managing your finances, please feel free to contact UNB's (Fredericton Campus) Financial Aid Office.

Budgeting

It is important to plan your finances in advance so that you can avoid the financial distress that comes with running out of money earlier than you expected. To calculate a future budget, you must first estimate your expected costs from your resources, which will determine your expected financial position.

Here is a helpful online budgeting tool from the federal government.

Financial Aid Options

There are several options offered through the Financial Aid Office that will help you through some difficult financial situations. Those programs include:

For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Bank Loans/Lines of Credit and Credit Cards

Bank loans, lines of credit and credit cards are all ways that students borrow money to supplement their income and student loans. Bank loans and lines of credit are quite similar in their interest rates and requirement for a co-signer while credit cards have a MUCH higher interest rate and do not require a co-signer. A co-signer is responsible for your debt if you are unable to repay it.

If you have both a credit card and a bank loan/line of credit you should keep all of your debt on your loan/line of credit instead of your credit card in order to save on interest costs.

Tips on Saving Money

Here is some tips that will help you save money while living off campus:

  • Sealing windows in the winter
  • Turn appliances off when not in use (keep on power bars for convienence)
  • Cook instead of eating out as much as possible
  • Walk, bike, or take the bus. Try to avoid using taxis.
  • Only run the washing machine when you have a full load - dry on the clothesline when possible
  • Download the Financial Aid Office's brochure, Living on a Student Budget! Stretching your Dollars!

Here are some tips on saving money from students who have experience living off-campus:

"Be sure to set a budget, and DON'T bring your bank card with you everywhere. If you make yourself take out a certain amount of cash each week you're less likely to spend on useless junk." - Jono, 4th yr. BSc

"My best tip on saving money is to budget. Review your budget every month and compare it to your bank statement so you see what you actually spent! Make a note of where you went over and try to spend less on those things. Account for things in your next month's budget that you may have overlooked before. It's the little things adding up that your don't realize drain your bank account. Worry more about recurring expenses than those twice a year, big expenditures." - Peter, 3rd yr. BBA

"Buy juice from concentrate. It's easier to store and carry and it's way cheaper." - Peter, 3rd yr. BBA

"Learn to cook. Fresh produce is cheaper than processed stuff. (It tastes better too!) - Peter, 3rd yr. BBA

"Buy prepared calling card for long distance and keep trying different ones. Some are way better than others!" - Peter, 3rd yr. BBA

"STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! Make it very detailed instead of putting x amount of dollars for living or emergency expenses. Detail out what those expenses should be. Factor in the amount you're paying for partying and don't kid yourself about it to justify it." - Sulaye, Masters Student

"Don't eat out if you can avoid it. Bring a packed lunch to school. Cafe and restaurant food will tend to be more expensive and less healthy." - Christopher, 4th yr. BA/BCS

"I found that by shopping at places like Victory Meat Market, the farmers market, and the Dollar Store, I found some really affordable food. I would spend $50 at Victory on groceries that would have cost me almost $100 at a regular grocery store." - Jessica, BRSS Grad

"A good idea would be to visit the Financial Aid department on campus. They have great budget forms that help you realize how many items you actually spend money on! I did it and I really stuck to my entertainment budget and I did not over spend!" - Jessica, BRSS Grad