Canadian University students surveyed give themselves top marks for personal finance habits

University of Waterloo and University of Toronto students feel most financially prepared for upcoming school year

TORONTO, Aug. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - As University students across Canada prepare to head to campus this fall, many are feeling confident when it comes to their personal finances. According to a recent survey by Tangerine*, 36 per cent of students surveyed gave themselves an 'A' and 46 per cent gave themselves a 'B' when asked to grade their ability to manage their finances and financial preparedness for school.

Out of the schools included in the survey, students at the University of Waterloo are the most confident, with 50 per cent giving themselves an 'A,' followed by the University of Toronto where 47 per cent of students graded themselves an 'A.'

In addition to feeling financially prepared, most Canadian students surveyed are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to saving; 35 per cent reported that they saved as much as they possibly could have to prepare for school and 45 per cent reported that while they could have saved a little more, they saved a lot. Only 20 per cent said they didn't save enough or didn't save anything.

Making personal finance their own  

With 41 per cent of students budgeting over $5,000 for this upcoming school year, these savings will be put to good use, especially since many students plan on making it on their own; 34 per cent reported that they will pay for everything themselves, including tuition and spending money. Another 29 per cent said they will pay for at least half of their school-related costs and 25 per cent said that although they get help funding their education from parents or family, they're responsible for their spending money. Only 7 per cent of students reported that their education (including spending money) is fully funded.

Students at the University of Ottawa are most financially independent, with 42 per cent saying they will fund their entire school year themselves, followed closely by the University of Alberta where 38 per cent reported they fund their schooling on their own.

"It's encouraging to see that many young Canadians are working hard to save their money, invest in their future, and become financially independent," says Silvio Stroescu, Managing Director of Deposits and Investments at Tangerine. "While it may be challenging to save money and go to school at the same time, good money habits will carry on long past graduation and help establish the discipline needed to stay on track no matter what phase of life you're in."

Working hard and savvy about bank fees

Given that most students are funding at least part of their education, perhaps it's not surprising that many reported funding their schooling with their personal savings (49 per cent) in addition to full-time or part-time employment (53 per cent). 30 per cent of students reported that they work full-time in the summer and part-time throughout the year, 36 per cent work either full-time or part-time in the summer but not during school, and 21 per cent work part-time year round. Only 13 per cent of students do not work at all at any point in the year.

In addition to working hard and saving their money, young Canadians heading to University this fall also seem to be savvy when it comes to bank fees; 43 per cent reported that they have a no-fee chequing account.

Giving up beer to graduate debt free

Although young Canadians are working hard to prepare for the school year and feeling financially confident, the survey also showed that investing in the future is not without additional costs. 64 per cent of students reported that they currently have student debt and 27 per cent of these students reported that their debt load is currently over $10,000. And students with debt are willing to make sacrifices if it meant clearing their balances: 80 per cent reported they would give up beer for their entire undergraduate degree if it meant they would graduate debt-free.

Focusing on the now

Despite any concerns related to personal finance, students' biggest concerns seem to be focused on their performance and succeeding while they're at school; 48 per cent of students said exams are their leading cause of stress followed by term papers/projects (24 per cent).

A breakdown of the grades
Students were asked to grade themselves based on their ability to manage their finances and their financial preparedness for school.



I give myself an A

I give myself a B

I give myself a C

I give myself a D

University of Waterloo






University of Toronto






University of Alberta






York University






University of Calgary






McMaster University






University of Ottawa






University of Western Ontario






University of British Columbia






Simon Fraser University







*Survey methodology
From July 23rd to August 4th, 2015, an online survey was conducted among 1090 Canadian University students age 18 to 25, who attend one of the 10 selected Universities. These included University of Toronto, York University, University of Western Ontario, University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, Simon Fraser University, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, and McMaster University. Universities were selected based on student population size and cross-Canada representation.

About Tangerine
Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With more than 1.9 million Clients and close to $38 billion in total assets, we are Canada's leading direct bank. Tangerine offers banking that is flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees, and award-winning Client service. From no-fee daily chequing to high-interest Savings Accounts, GICs, RSPs, TFSAs, mortgages and mutual funds, Tangerine has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, our presence extends beyond our website and Mobile Banking app to our 24/7 Contact Centres, Café locations and our Pop-Up locations. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012, it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The 'Tangerine' trademarks are owned by The Bank of Nova Scotia and used under licence.
Forward Banking is a trademark of Tangerine Bank.

SOURCE Tangerine

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