Living on a grad student budget is tough and it gets even harder heading into the holiday season. With upcoming holiday parties, purchasing gifts for friends and family, and travelling home for some well-deserved time off, expenses can add up quickly.
Avoid stressing about money by making a plan and sticking to it! By tracking your spending habits, you can get a better sense of what you value, your motivations for spending, and areas where you can save some money in the future. Yes, you can actually save some money during Graduate School…so plan to go to your dream postdoctoral position and/or job afterward…or perhaps go on an international research exchange during your studies here.
To help you manage your expenses the Faculty of Graduate Studies has created the Budget resource Tool. This tool has been designed to allow you to create a budget by simply filling in your funding amounts, tuition fees and living expenses.
By keeping track of your expenses each month you should be able to identify where your money is going and certain expenses that you are able to eliminate. For example, how many coffees do you purchase a day? Can you minimize that by making your own at home and bringing it with you to school in a thermos? Do you buy lunch every day or could you perhaps bring your own a few days a week? Do you need the most expensive cell phone plan?
While you explore ways to save, you need to make sure you don’t eliminate all the “extras” you enjoy. If you like going out to dinner with friends, try looking up the menu beforehand; if it looks a little pricey, suggest somewhere more reasonable. Ever thought of having potluck dinner get-togethers? Great way to meet new people and perhaps be introduced to some new cuisine. Generations of graduate students before you have done this.
So if you find yourself stressed about money this holiday season start tracking your expenses or visit our website for more tips to help you manage your finances.