Student life is supposed to be easy.  However with the rising costs of a University Education it is becoming harder and harder for students to make ends meet.  This past week I sat down with 2 different university students as well as a recent graduate to learn how they manage their money. 

How do you spend your pay check?

Jessica is a 3rd year university student, studying Education, who also works part time in a retail clothing store.  She is financing her own university education by working 15 hours a week during the school year.  Jessica works two jobs during the summer when she is not in school; she works full time as an educator in a day camp, and still continues to work part time at the clothing store.  She has decided not to take out any student loans to help finance her university education.  She is currently living at home with her parents.

Is your part time job related to your field of study?

Jessica chooses to live at home while she is studying Education at University because it allows her to save on living expenses.  She earns approximately $300 biweekly and spends most of her money on food and clothing.  Jessica spends about $75 every two weeks on clothes. She does not spend her entire pay check every two weeks because she needs to save in order to finance her education. 

Isabelle is a 1st year university student who works 8 hours a week. She works because her parents want her to learn valuable life lesions, such as responsibility and independence.  She currently lives in her university residence; and she is experiencing life away from her parents for the first time. School is her primary focus and she chooses not to waste her money partying and going to clubs.  Isabelle prefers to save up, and spend her extra money on expensive items such as a brand new Coach school bag. Isabelle funds the rest of her living expenses through student loans. Her philosophy is that she will borrow money now to finance her university education. She will worry about repaying her debt after she graduates and finds a full time career. 

Are you still paying off student loans?

Emily is a recent university graduate who majored in Dance.  She works 14 hours a week, also in a retail clothing store.  Emily’s primary focus is developing her dance career. Therefore, she chooses to spend her money on dance classes and studio rentals.  She currently lives at home and she is proud to have just paid off her VISA card.  Emily’s other expenses are minor but they do include her transportation costs, tickets to theatres and other dance productions, as well as food and clothing.  She always spends her pay check every two weeks. Emily is currently looking for an apartment with a roommate.

If you got your last pay check on Friday was it all gone by Monday morning?

Photo By Ralph&Jenny