Budgeting for university

Tuition. Books. Student fees. Living expenses. It's easy to feel overwhelmed just thinking about paying for university.

You’re not alone – most students rely on scholarships, bursaries, loans, employment and careful budgeting to pay for university.


One of the easiest ways to stick to your food budget is to get a UNB meal plan. You pay up-front, which means no financial surprises each week.
If you do buy your own groceries, here are some ways to save:
• Never shop when you're hungry
• Make a list and stick to it
• Buy in bulk when something’s on sale
• Choose plant proteins over animal proteins
• Avoid big brand-name products – buy the store brand
• Pack snacks for between classes to reduce impulse purchases


Fredericton and Saint John offer fun activities - for free

Saint John's Rockwood Park and Fredericton's Odell Park are gorgeous, free, and full of wildlife and hiking trails. When winter arrives, you can explore snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails in both cities.

If you like the movies, UNB’s clubs and societies host free movie nights throughout the week – login to your eServices account for dates and times.

The Fredericton campus Student Union and Saint John campus Students' Representative Council also hold several events throughout the year. Many of which are free as long as you have your student ID.

Things to do in Fredericton
Things to do in Saint John


Both Fredericton and Saint John have a great selection of shops and boutiques, including thrift stores that sell unique vintage pieces as well as modern designer clothes. Check them out – you’ll save money and develop your own unique look.


An easy way to save on transportation is to simply live on campus. Residences are close to all the amenities you'll need.

If you commute, consider walking, cycling or taking public transit. City buses are convenient, good for the environment, and affordable. Both Saint John Transit and Fredericton Transit have citywide routes.


After tuition, a major university cost is textbooks. You can expect to spend $1,000 - $1,500 on textbooks per year.

Save some money by checking out book sales like the Fredericton campus SU/SRC Book Buy and Sell.

On the Saint John campus, students often advertise used textbooks on bulletin boards, on Kijiji or the UNBSJ Textbooks Facebook page. As with any online transaction, be careful – never meet with a stranger alone, and if you do meet, make sure it’s in a public place.

The UNB bookstores in Fredericton and Saint John have a large selection of used books as well.