What is Financial Wellness? Put simply, it is the process of learning how to manage money (UCDAVIS, n.d.). It is an aspect of our personal wellness that can be forgotten about or not talked about. However, money is critical in our lives; necessary for survival, paying for school, and many dreams or wants.
An important part of maintaining our financial wellness is constructing and managing a budget. As a school budgeting can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Your venture into post-secondary education may also be your first time having to consider a budget and you may not have a stable income while you go to school. A good place to start is considering your income and expenses. Student income and expenses may vary significantly by month due to large annual expenses such as tuition and months where income may be higher such as in the summer. Therefore, considering expenses in yearly amounts and dividing by 12 may be helpful.
The Government of Canada has a Student Budget Worksheet that already breaks down common expenses for students. Working through this worksheet is a good way to start budgeting. The Canadian Bankers Association also has financial literacy resources on budgeting, saving and investing, responsible use of credit, and keeping money safe.
One powerful financial tool we have as students to save money are student discounts. Many companies and stories from numerous industries offer cheaper student prices. A place to check out more information on student discounts is the Dealhack Canadian Student Discounts List. There are 15 categories of deals that include over 100 brands that offer forms of student savings.
Some of my favorite student discounts have included internet deals, education deals on technology, and music platforms for only $5/month. It never hurts to ask about student discounts when shopping!
Additional Financial Resources for Students
UMSU Food Bank 518 UMSU University Centre
Winnipeg Harvest; phone or email to make an appointment
For students renting in the private sectors (off-campus, student housing is not included)
Based on income with net income cut-offs (e.g., a net annual income of less than $23,040 for a single person)
Can apply online over email
Winnipeg transit also offers a variety of discounts to students in addition to the U-Pass that can be utilized when the U-Pass is unavailable.
Post-secondary monthly pass ($80/month)
Post-secondary semester passes $278
Low income pass ($70 / month)
Regular U-Pass $200 per semester (Not currently available during the Fall 2020 term due to COVID-19)
University of Manitoba General Bursary (Due October 1st)
60% course load and 2.0 GPA (or 70% High School Average for entering students)
Apply on Aurora
Based on household income
Parents income included (specific criteria to be considered independent
The website also includes an awards database that students can browse for scholarships and bursaries they may qualify for
Emergency Loans through the U of M
Must be a full-time student
Application found: https://umanitoba.ca/student/fin_awards/emergency_loan.html
UMSU’S Hardship Fund
For students who have experienced unforeseen hardship
Must be an undergraduate student
For students who may also be parenting while in school. The child disability benefit is specifically for caretakers of children with disabilities