March 25, 2023

By Jaime Murdock, Spoke News

Most students have received their OSAP by now and have paid tuition — in some cases that may be all that they have to worry about until the next semester begins. But for many students this is not the case. They may have rent, utility bills, child-care expenses, pet expenses, phone bills, transportation fees and groceries to pay for.

These are just a few things that can put a lot of stress on students. But how does one budget for all those costs?

Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) offers a free life skills workshop that will focus on budgeting. The first took place last week in the Learning Lab.

Some of the skills students learned in this workshop were knowing what a budget is, how to create a budget, how to determine cash flow, understanding student loans and understanding how credit ratings affect a student’s ability to rent and to take out loans. Budgeting is a good way to understand where money is coming from and where it is going. With a better understanding of finances, students will stress about it less and hopefully be able to save money during school and pay their loans off faster once they graduate.

“The workshop is beneficial for students because it is an opportunity to learn about the importance of creating a budget and how credit ratings can impact your future,” said Nicole Amorim, leadership development coordinator for CSI.

The workshop provides knowledge that is useful both during a learner’s time as a student and after they graduate. Students will also receive a credit on the co-curricular record and are entered into a draw for a chance to win a $25 gift card. The next budgeting workshop will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Room A1303 at Conestoga’s Cambridge campus.

Learning how to budget is an important skill that is not taught in high school. Now that most students are living away from home it is a good time to have a better understanding of their finances. On the website YNAB (You Need a Budget), author Lindsey Burgess talks about the benefits of aging your money for at least 30 days to avoid the common cycle of living paycheque to paycheque. Once students begin to age their money, they will start to feel a lot more comfortable in paying their bills while also letting themselves splurge every once in a while.

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