Good Morning Everyone and Happy Halloween.  Today we are starting a new series called “Me, My College Education, and My Money” This new series will discuss everything about our College Education from the cost of tuition and books to the job possibilities within our program after graduation.  Our resource for most of this information is thanks to The Globe and Mail.


Graduate from College Debt Free (Or Close To It)

I am proud to say that I graduated from College with a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree; unfortunately I did not graduate from college debt free.  I moved away from home to attend college in a city 7.5 hours away from my family; from my own personal experience I feel that it is almost impossible to graduate from college debt free if we don’t live at home while studying.

If we start saving early in our teenage years we could graduate from college debt free.  If we starting working part time while we are in high school we could start saving money for college which will help with the cost of tuition, books, and living away from home while attending college.  Unfortunately, many young students prefer to live in the moment and spend their money, rather than save it.

Graduating from College Debt Free is a great goal, but it may not be a reality for everyone.  But don’t worry because Green Panda is here to help!  Students can take little steps throughout our college years to help us graduate from college debt free, or at least close to it.


How To Save Money in College

Here are 10 Great Tips to Help Us Save Money in College:

1. Start Saving Early.  Saving money doesn’t only mean that we have to put money aside from our part time jobs.  It also means that we have to cut down on our monthly bills and expenses.  If we spend less money, then we can save more money.

2. Consider Alternatives.  A 4 year College Degree may not always be a financial option for everyone.  We may consider less expensive education options such as Community College or Trade School.  If you are planning to go away to College consider spending your first year or two at a school closer to home and then transfer after you have money saved up.

3. Plan Your Education.  It will be helpful to research the cost of living in the city where you want to attend college.  If you know how much it costs for rent, your monthly bus/subway pass, as well as the cost of your tuition and books then you can better plan your budget and know how much you need to save.

4. Maximize Awards.  Check your College Student Center for local bursaries and scholarships that are available to first year, second year, third and fourth year students.  Some bursaries and scholarships are also available for students in specific programs.

5. Create a Reasonable Budget.  This is where Planning Our Education comes in handy.  If we know the costs of our expenses then we can plan our budget.  If we live on a fixed income then we should also live on a fixed budget.  The key to a good budget is to make a little room for everything, if we sacrifice too much then we will never stick to it.

6. Save on Text Books.  Try to buy Text Books used.  Sometimes 3rd and 4th year students will sell their books to 1st and 2nd year students at a discounted price.

7. Work Part Time.  I liked working part time in College.  It was a nice break from school and it gave me some extra money.  I made some great friends at my part time jobs.

8. Quit Your Car.  Cars are a huge expense.  It is definitely cheaper to take public transportation. Most College Students live near campus anyways; your car is just a luxury and unnecessary expense.

9. Learn About Cash Flow. If you spend less than you earn you will always have money and keep out of debt.

10. Be a Stingy Gourmet.  My biggest regret before moving away to College was not learning how to cook. Eating out is expensive. Trust Me…You Want to Learn to Cook.


Photo by SpindilerHades

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.