Students: Know Your Burn

3.6 per cent. According to Statistics Canada, that’s the increase Canadian university students will have to pony up this academic year. Average tuition for 2008-2009 is $4,724, up from $4,558 last year. In Ontario, the news is even bleaker, costing co-eds a thousand dollars more than the national average and increasing 4.7% (just under the 5% cap implemented in 2006).

How can you combat these tuition hikes and maintain your economic stability? Know your Burn. Your monthly Burn is the total cash outflow that you spend each month on expenses – including tuition, room, board, transportation, books and leisure activities. Most people know how much money they get each month (job, student loans, financial aid, scholarships, parental allowance) but rarely if ever, do they know what their monthly Burn is.

Don’t confuse what you need with what you want. Understanding your outflows will help you better appropriate your finances before it gets out of control. Financial difficulties are often the result of a lack of information and planning rather than a lack of money.

If your monthly expenses are a thousand dollars and you have nine hundred dollars of cash for month, don’t go charging that hot new sweater to your Visa, even though you have $900 to pay for it.

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3 responses to “Students: Know Your Burn

  1. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  2. Thank you Susan. It’s always a pleasure to connect with the readers.

    cheers!

    -cb

  3. UPDATE: On November 5, 2008 close to 1,000 students across the GTA stopped downtown traffic in protest of the escalating cost of tuition in Ontario.

    A province-wide campaign calling on Premier Dalton McGuinty to drop tuition fees, held rallies and marches in Toronto, Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, London, Orillia and Guelph.

    They will also demand lower tuition fees in Sault Ste. Marie, Peterborough, Hamilton, Scarborough, Kingston and Windsor.

    Since taking office, Ontario tuition fees have soared to second highest in Canada.

    The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario chairwoman Shelley Melanson says students `are fed up’ and are demanding `concrete action to drop fees.’

    Melanson says McGuinty cancelled a tuition freeze in 2006 to allow fees to rise as high as eight per cent per year over four years.

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