Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Back to School Debt Series: Planning Your Child’s Education Savings Plan

So far this month as part of our back to school debt series we’ve offered advice to parents of school-aged children and young adults heading to university and college – but what about parents (or even grandparents) of little ones looking towards the future? This week we’ve got you covered with some information on the benefits of an education savings plan for the future.
It is no secret that tuition costs for students in the province have grown exponentially over the past several years. The rising costs of post-secondary education continue to make it incredibly difficult for children to head off to study without having to worry about financial funding. Scholarships are few and far between, and even with these many kids are still reeling from the amounts that are applied to their accounts each semester.
Sure, if you have a little one at home, these issues may seem too far in the future to worry about now; issues that you can worry about when your child enters high school, or closer to the empty nest date. But wait, when you calculate the average cost of a child’s tuition alone at today’s rates ($8000/year university, $3000 - $5000/year college), that is a lot to save for in a short amount of time. And that isn’t even considering the costs associated with your child attending college or university away from home (think rent, food, etc.).
The best way to help your child prepare for these sky-high education costs is by starting to save now. Whether you invest in an education savings plan through your local financial institution, or just try and put away some extra money each month (think birthdays, holidays, etc.), and leave the money to grow, you can actually save a great deal before the dreaded moving out date.
An even greater benefit of the establishment of an education savings plan when your child is young is that you can then use it to teach your child about the importance of saving for the future. Once they have reached an appropriate age, they can begin to contribute to their own fund, and grow motivated as the total in the account also grows. Bonus!
Don’t put off saving for the future until the future lands on your doorstep. Start today with an education savings plan and save whatever you can.
Want to learn more about the benefits of saving for your child’s education, or to deal with a debt that is hindering your ability to do so? Please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Back to School Debt Series: Global News Talks Paying off Student Loans

With the back to school season in full swing, it is easy to forget what lies at the end of the tunnel in the midst of all of the excitement and anticipation, especially for those individuals taking on a post-secondary education. But what comes at the end of the road to educational betterment is often coupled with bills that can have a major impact on a person’s financial future. As the fourth and final contribution to our back to school debt series we thought we’d share an interesting article that we found that deals specifically with student debt.
The recent Global News report, “Student debt shacklesyoung people for years, study finds,” shed some alarming light on the status of recent graduates in Canada, and how student debt can be crippling when it comes to financial stability. The report, which looked at the impacts of the continually increasing tuition costs to students after graduation, found that “young adults owing student debt trail way behind their peers when it comes to wealth accumulation.”
Both recent graduates in Canada and the United States are dealing with these hikes: “1 in 8 Canadian families has student loans with a median value of $10,000, only slightly less than our neighbours to the south. In 2012, Canadians owed $28.3 billion in student loans, up 44.1 per cent from 1999.” These numbers demonstrate just how vital dealing with student debt has become.
If you are struggling to make your minimum payments on your student debt, or find yourself unable to cut down the amounts you owe even after months of payments, please contact DebtCare today. We can discuss options with you to get you out from under the shadow of that debt and get you back on the road to financial stability.  Call us today at 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Back to School Debt Series: Keeping Your Student Debt Down

Last week we started our back to school debt blog series with a blog for parents with some money saving tips for back to school. This week, we thought we’d help out those students who no longer rely on their parents for school lunches or freshly-made beds. Whether this is your first year of post-secondary education or you are a tried and true vet, use this second blog to help keep your student debt down.
Tips and tricks to help keep your student debt down:
1.      Buy used textbooks. University and college bookstores often charge an arm and a leg for new textbooks, so check out kijiji or the bulletin boards around your school to see if anyone is selling last year’s text for less. Also, sometimes the bookstore will offer used books for less, so always try and go that route when possible.

2.      Investigate student rates on things like cell phones, banking, etc. Many institutions provide discounted rates for students, so find out – this can save you a ton of money.

3.      Avoid the cafeteria if possible. When it comes to post-secondary life and you live off-campus, one of the biggest costs is food, especially if you are in a dorm room that doesn’t have its own kitchen. However, as convenient as it might be to just head to the food court, these costs can quickly add up. Check out the shared kitchen facilities and invest in a mini-fridge. Also, if you are close enough to home, rely on those care packages to keep your belly and your wallet full.

4.      Carpool. Heading home for the weekend or into town for errands, etc.? Find someone else who is also going your way and share the driving and the gas costs.

5.      Search out cheap/free entertainment. Many educational institutions offer free entertainment to students, such as movie nights, seminars, discounted pub crawls or other such entertainment. Always keep an eye out for these offerings. Grab a group of friends and make a night of it.
Sometimes it is easy to ignore the growing costs of post-secondary education. Tuition seems to increase at an alarming rate, and sometimes the choice to stay at home and study locally is not as attractive as moving out, and therefore the only option is to bite the bullet and watch those amounts climb. That being said, take some time to consider the ways that you can keep your costs down using the above noted tips.
Struggling to keep your student debt down, or dealing with the debt now that school is over? DebtCare can help. Call us today at 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

to School Debt Series: Money Saving Tips for Parents on a Budget

This time of year often ranks up there with Christmas as far as outright spending, and for many parents, the back to school season can take a major toll of the current standing of your bank account. This is especially true for those trying to get out of debt or looking for debt relief.  So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 money saving tips for back to school shopping! Good luck.
Money Saving Tips for Parents on a Budget:
-        Shop at home first. Often a great deal of what your child needs for the back to school season you already own. Get creative and repurpose old items to make them new again. 
-        Buy in bulk and make brown bag lunches. Go big on veggies and fruit as these are often cheaper and go farther than boxes of pre-packaged snacks. This is also a healthier alternative compared to having kids buy snacks or lunch at school.
-        Wait to find out what kids need before purchasing what you assume to be the essentials. Many teachers will send home list of what is required, but if they don’t, send a note along with your child and ask. Also, make use of last year’s items, including pencils, pencil crayons, calculators and backpacks. And always shop around. The big box stores may not actually offer the best prices. Check the dollar store - after all, a pencil is a pencil no matter where you buy it.
-        Check flyers for back to school shopping deals. Also, even though you might be tempted and kids are anxious, it can sometimes save you money to buy after the initial back to school rush. Buy end of season articles that are on sale and limit big ticket items as much as possible.
-        Hold a shopping swap. Trading clothes with parents of like-aged kids, especially the younger ones that outgrow clothes so quickly, can also be a great way to save. Check social media and join online swap groups in your area – chances are you are not the only one looking to save money at this incredibly expensive time of year.
Don’t let the back to school season cause you any undue financial stress. Use these tips to cut costs and keep everyone happy.
For more money saving tips, for back to school shopping or at any time of the year, please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888.