Today's students want more from their summer earnings than their parents did

Today's students living want to do more with their summer earnings. Think tuition, books, rent, travel and paying down the credit card. All these goals can leave budgets stretched thin, but finding some efficiencies can help stretch them further. (CNW Group/TD Canada Trust)

TD offers tips to students on getting the most of their hard earned money

TORONTO, Aug. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Today's post-secondary students are just as likely as their parents' generation to take a summer job to help fund their tuition and school-related expenses. When it comes to spending those earnings, however, students today find themselves stretched thin. Between trying to fund a variety of expenses, higher tuition costs, electronic purchases, saving for the future and repaying debt, today's students often rely more heavily on student loans and part-time jobs during the academic year than past generations.

"A summer job is still an important part of financing a post-secondary education, but it's getting harder for students to earn enough to cover everything they want and need to do," said Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President, Everyday Banking, Personal & Indirect Lending, TD Canada Trust.  "Rising tuition costs are stretching student budgets, as are the technological requirements like having a personal computer, but so is the long list of goals like travel, personal debt repayment, and saving for a home and retirement down the road."

According to TD research, students say the top reasons for taking a summer job are to pay for tuition, school-related expenses and day-to-day living costs. However, they're also more likely to want to use their earnings for recreation, travel and to save towards a big-ticket item. They're also much more likely than their parents were to use summer earnings toward paying off student and personal debts, and to allocate funds towards a savings account or a down payment on a future home.

"It's important to have financial goals, and today's students are clearly thinking ahead." said Chun. "But with such a big wish list, students need to think realistically about what's possible, establish a budget and prioritize spending to help stretch their earnings as far as possible."

Even so, many students find the only way to be able to do it all is to take out a bigger student loan or to work part-time during the school year. The TD survey showed that today's students are 21 per cent more likely than their parents' generation of students to use a part-time job during the school year to pay for discretionary spending, and more likely to use student loans to fund school.

Chun offers the following tips to maximize efficiency when it comes to students' competing financial demands:

  1. Set a realistic budget. Be honest and list all sources of income, like pay cheques, scholarships, family support, student loans – and known expenses, like tuition fees, rent, books and basic living costs. Anything left over can be allocated towards savings goals and discretionary spending. Try a tool like the TD Cash Flow calculator to help get started – the best budget is one that you're able to stick to.

  2. Prioritize spending. Essential costs like tuition, supplies and rent should be the top priority, followed by any debts that are incurring interest. When it comes to discretionary spending, make sure splurge items mean something – like dinner out with friends versus eating a small lunch out every day.

  3. Remember, credit is borrowed, not free. Using a credit card is a great start to building a healthy credit rating, but the balance should be paid off in full each month to avoid interest charges. These extra costs will eat into an already tight budget.

  4. Stay on top of finances. Take advantage of online statements to keep track of what is owed and the interest rate. Have a plan in place to pay off student debt after graduation and increase payments as your income rises. This helps reduce the amount of interest paid, and allows you to start saving earlier for the next big purchase, like a first car or home.

About the TD Canada Trust Post-Secondary Summer Job Poll
TD Canada Trust commissioned Leger to conduct a survey of 1,091 Canadians who are currently enrolled in post-secondary education and Canadians aged 45-60 who have a post-secondary education. Responses were collected between August 1 and August 6, 2014. 

About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

Image with caption: "Today's students living want to do more with their summer earnings. Think tuition, books, rent, travel and paying down the credit card. All these goals can leave budgets stretched thin, but finding some efficiencies can help stretch them further. (CNW Group/TD Canada Trust)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140826_C1611_PHOTO_EN_5106.jpg

For further information: Meghan Thomas, TD Bank Group, 416-944-4151, meghan.thomas@td.com; Miriam Sherkey, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, 416-413-4732, miriam.sherkey@hkstrategies.ca