Student Money Smarts

Money is among the top most stressful elements of being a student. Here are some quick and easy tips that you can implement to help you manage your money throughout university.

School Expenses

The best way to save on your tuition is with a scholarship or bursary. Bishop’s offers scholarships and bursaries for incoming and returning students ranging from $500 to $20,000. You can also apply for external scholarships and bursaries through various websites such as Scholarship Canada.

The government offers student loans in all provinces. If you need to borrow money for school, it is the best option; if you aren’t eligible, you can contact your bank to apply for a line of credit.

A great way to save on your books is to buy them used off other students. You can look for used books or sell yours in the SRC’s Facebook Group.

Another way to save on books and supplies is to get a Doolittle’s Co-op Membership. It is a one-time payment of $25 (tax included) and you have your membership for life; you then save on everything in the store. If you want to stop your membership, you will be refunded $10. If you’re here for at least two years, have lots of textbooks to buy, enjoy school supplies or apparel, then it is definitely worth the investment!

Quick Savings

Food is a big living expense and it can add up quickly. Never go shopping when you’re hungry and always have an idea of what you’re going to get; making a list of things you need is the easiest way to keep yourself on track! Looking for a free meal? There are faith-based groups on campus that host free meal gatherings on certain nights, or, if you have friends in residence, you can ask them for a guest pass to Dewies.

Take advantage of student discounts at various stores. For instance, Jean Coutu offers 10% off to students when you present your student card. If a longer bus ride doesn’t faze you, hop on the 11 to the Metro on Belvédère, which also offers student discounts.

Many stores have rewards cards where you can earn points on each purchase and eventually get money towards the store. Here are some of the most popular rewards systems you can use as a Bishop’s student:

  • PC Optimum: can be used at Provigo, Maxi, Esso and Pharmaprix (Shoppers Drug Mart)
  • Dominos: free medium 2 toppings pizza after 6 orders of $10 or more
  • Tim’s Rewards: after every 7 purchases of 0.50$ or more you can get a qualifying item for free

If you’re planning to attend an event, buy an early bird ticket. Usually you save and get extra perk – and you won’t have to worry about it being sold out!

Making Money

Having a car and being bilingual are definitely an asset here, but regardless, our campus offers jobs all year round. You can work for the Gait, Doolittle’s Convenience Store, Doolittle’s Co-op, Food Services, and more, right on campus! If you want to gain experience in your field of study, there is also the Tomlinson Internship Program funded by one of our generous alumni. The SRC also offers interesting positions for leadership and development.

If academics are your strong suit, you can become a peer tutor for classes where you have a minimum grade of 80% and maintain a minimum average of 75%. You can also be paid to take notes.

If you want a little extra cash or a chance for some gift cards, check out The Dish and join a research study. Participating in a research study can be fun and it’s great to help out other students. Additionally, there are also many job opportunities in Sherbrooke.

Managing Your Money

Properly managing your money in school is the most essential way to be smart about handling it. Track your spending, whether that be through an app or in a notebook. You should have a budget to distribute your income: make sure you allocate money for school expenses, living expenses, entertainment, and savings. Entertainment is usually the category that can get the most out of hand as a student, but you just have to make sure to stick to your budget and consider your needs. Have a savings account and not just a chequing account. The compound interest will add up and it’s a good practice to have.

If you have roommates that you split costs with, make sure to keep receipts and bill statements, and have a shared document or use an app to keep track of who owes how much to who. Splitrr is a simple app that works without internet and you can produce a full statement of what is owed in a PDF.

You can look towards the future and start building your credit by applying to get a credit card. Look for one with no annual fee and features that would be advantageous for you. If you pay your balance in full and on time, there should be nothing to worry about. It’s recommended you spend only between 10-30% of your credit limit, but regardless, never spend what you do not have. Paying utility bills is another way of building your credit.

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