Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC): Budgeting for student life

Budgeting for student life is a great resource from the FCAC designed to educate students and parents about the available resources to help pay for university.

My Money Coach: Intelligent Student Budget Calculator for Excel

My Money Coach is a free public service offered by the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit organization. Their Intelligent Student Budget Calculator for Excel is a dynamic budget calculator that guides you through the process. It focuses on postsecondary budgeting on a term by term basis and will gently alert you to problems in your budget and make suggestions on how to improve your financial situation.

Mint: Money Manager, Personal Finance, and Budgeting

Mint is available for online use and as a smartphone app. By connecting your bank account with Mint, you can oversee your financial accounts, create a budget based on your actual day to day spending, and set financial goals. Mint uses the same triple layer security and encryption that most banks do. When you use Mint, you will receive weekly reports with nice pie charts showing you where your money went. For post-secondary students, Mint is a great tool for tracking expenses.

Get Smarter About Money: Getting an education is an Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) website that aims to provide unbiased and independent financial tools. Their resource on getting an education provides an overview of RESPs, budgeting, and managing debt.

Money Saving Tips

Follow these easy money-saving tips to make your money last.

Books and Supplies

  • Buy used textbooks
  • Sell your textbooks at the end of each semester. Places like Haven Books, will help you sell your textbooks through consignment.
  • The Carleton University Bookstore now lets you rent textbooks, offering on average more than 50% of savings compared to buying.


Groceries & Meals

  • Use a flyer & coupon app like Flipp to find the best deals or price match.
  • Bring your own water bottle and use the refilling stations around campus.
  • Make a meal plan for the week.
  • Loblaws offers 10% off for students with a valid student ID card every Tuesday at select locations.
  • Sign up for loyalty programs for stores you shop at regular, such as PC Optimum card
  • Browse sites like Pinterest for frugal meal ideas.


  • Get a student banking account. Most banks offer student chequing accounts with no monthly fees as long as you’re a full-time student.
  • Only use your bank’s ATM and avoid high fees from convenience store ATMs.
  • Leave your credit/debit cards at home and take cash with you for the day. This will also help you budget.
  • Track your spending. You can use an app like Mint or your bank’s online services to ensure you are not going over your budget.

Student Discounts

  • Many businesses will offer discounts to students. Always carry your Carleton Campus Card with you.
  • Consider getting a Student Price Card to receive discounts with their business partners.

Have a great money-saving tip you think should be on this list? Let us know by email at or on Twitter @CUAwards