Many students say cash won't last past Christmas - RBC poll

    RBC has three simple tips to help students manage their finances

    TORONTO, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - University and college students are becoming
increasingly concerned about whether they have enough money to get through the
school year, according to a new RBC/Ipsos Reid Student Finance Opinion poll.
The survey found that 43 per cent of new college and university students and
35 per cent of returning students feel that they can only stretch their
spending money as far as the Christmas break, with half (50 per cent) of all
post-secondary students expecting it to run out before the school year ends.
    The poll found that almost 8 in 10 (79 per cent) post-secondary students
plan to work part-time while in school, with almost half of those indicating
they need to work to pay the bills.
    "Working to make ends meet is an additional challenge for students, with
at least three-quarters concerned that working will affect their grades and
two-thirds believing that worrying about money will have a negative impact on
their studies," said Kavita Joshi, director, Student Banking at RBC. "Getting
the right advice and finding the proper academic, social and financial balance
will minimize stress and make their school year easier to handle."
    The poll indicated that almost half (48 per cent) of returning
post-secondary students like being responsible for their own finances and 37
per cent find that managing their finances while in school is harder than
expected. Given the recent economic conditions, two-thirds of returning
students (66 per cent) also plan to be more cautious with spending this school
    "With the student unemployment rate at an all-time high, managing your
finances responsibly and planning ahead becomes even more important," adds
Joshi. "It costs money when you don't plan. You may end up buying food because
you didn't take a lunch to school. It's fast but not necessarily cheap."
    During the last year, when money was tight, students said they cut back
on essentials and incidentals: 61 per cent spent less on food; 57 per cent
spent less on alcohol; 23 per cent didn't buy all the books they needed; and
11 per cent paid their tuition late.

    Here are Joshi's three key tips to help students manage their finances:

    1. Know yourself

    Understand your financial mindset and what's important to you. Some
    students might opt to take on additional hours at work and cut their
    course load. Other students feel they can take on a little more debt.
    Both are valid choices. It comes down to your financial comfort level and
    being realistic about what you can live with.

    2. You're in control

    Students must learn to manage many new expenses - from tuition to
    housing. It's important to identify all of them and assess how much
    you're actually spending. There are lots of moving parts that can seem
    overwhelming, but you have choices. You are the one in control of your
    spending with the discretion about whether, when and how much you spend.

    3. Get informed

    Once you understand your spending, you can find the right solutions.
    Students need to explore all financial options including work, bursaries,
    loans and scholarships. Seek advice from experts like financial
    counsellors on campus or your local bank.

    Joshi recommends students use tools like RBC's Better Student Life
website (about money management) and Student Budget Check (to calculate the
money you need to get through the school year, based on your spending). Both
are available at

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between June 9 and June 17, 2009. This online survey of 1,200 Canadian
students, either returning to post-secondary school or intending to start at
post-secondary school in September 2009, was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say
Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. No weighting of the final
sample was done as we assume that the respondents are a random sample of
Canadian students. With a sample of this size, the results are considered
accurate to within +/-2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Matt Gierasimczuk, RBC Media
Relations, (416) 974-2124; Suzanne Willers, RBC Corporate Communications,
(416) 974-2727

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