Managing your budget as a student isn’t easy. Bills, books, rent and food add up quickly, and before you know it, you’re feeling the squeeze.
From November 6 to 10, Concordia’s Financial Aid and Awards Office (FAAO) is putting on Financial Literacy Week. It’s a series of workshops designed for you to take control of your money so you can focus your energy on your academics instead of your wallet.
For Stephanie Sarik, director of Financial Aid and Awards, there are two areas that students should pay particular attention to when it comes to financial best practices.
“Creating a realistic budget that you can follow is key,” she says.
“Your budget is your base and is meant to clearly show the money coming in and out. Knowing this will allow you to determine when and where you can spend.”
Sarik also stresses that students need to understand any financial contract they sign.
“Whether it is a credit card or a cellphone contract, know what you’re getting into. Credit is not a bad thing necessarily, but it can easily snowball into unnecessary debt. That’s why we’ve designed a special workshop to help students navigate contracts.”
Budget to your values
Another point those working at the FAAO emphasize is to align your finances with your values. This means prioritizing what you’re investing in now: your education.
“It may be tempting to spend your money or go into debt to afford the latest iPhone or a fancy apartment,” Sarik says.
“But is that really what you should be focused on at this point in your life? Have fun as a student but not at the expense of your future.”
If money is stressing you out or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt, the best thing you can do is take action, she adds.
“Ignoring money problems won’t make them go away. Join a workshop or talk to one of our advisors. Once you face your money issues head-on and make a realistic plan, you will feel better. There is always a solution.”
Financial Literacy Week events:
- November 6, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Budgeting 101
- November 7, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Budgeting 101
- November 8, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Student banking 101
- November 9, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Budgeting 101
- November 10, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Contracts and their financial impact on your life
During Concordia’s Financial Literacy Week, Concordia students are invited to drop by the Financial Aid and Awards Office, located in room GM 230 of the Guy-Maisonneuve Building. Answer the question, “What have you done to improve your financial wellness?” and you’ll be entered into a draw to win $150 from the Concordia Book Stop.