Save early for post-secondary education

The best way to get money to pay for school is to save for it before you get there. Saving now means you’ll have less debt to pay back later and puts you in a better position to start your future.

Your parents may have started saving early for your education by opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). If so, you may have already benefited from certain programs such as the Government of Canada's Canada Education Savings Grant.

There are many things you can do now. It all starts by knowing your financial reality and what is important to you.

Tips for saving money for school

If you find a full- or part-time job during the school year or during the summer, you will have extra cash to put away. Here are a few ideas as to how you might save:

  • Take the "red-eye" flight home—if you fly overnight, it is much cheaper than flying during the day.
  • Check your cell phone plan to find out when it’s cheaper for you to be calling your friends and family.
  • Compare prices yearly for your car insurance. Some companies offer lower prices to attract new clients, but not to clients who are renewing their plans.
  • Cut costs on regular expenses by looking for less expensive choices.

With some creative thinking, you will find lots of ways to save!

For other cost-cutting ideas, consult Consumer Issues for the Young and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s website for everything from shopping for a cell phone and buying your first car to moving out on your own.

Find a job

  • On-line job boards

    Service Canada's Job Bank and, have services tailored to students.
  • Job centres

    Walk in for advice and job leads at centres such as at Service Canada Centres, and school campus job centres. Check often for new job postings. Job centres can often help you prepare a résumé, as well.
  • Federal Student Work Experience Program (FWSEP)

    These public service jobs for students provide work experience related to your field of study. Check them out early, though, as they can start looking for students for the summer as early as January. FSWEP also offers part-time work during the school year.
  • Newspapers (city, community and student papers) and bulletin boards

    These ads are seen by many people, so you'll have more competition. On the other hand, since those doing the hiring are paying to advertise, the jobs tend to be the more challenging—and pay better, too!
  • Temporary work agencies

    If you have regular days when you can work, these agencies can be good for clerical office positions.
  • Seasonal/holiday hiring

    Retail stores and restaurants, for example, need extra people for short periods of time. That can mean extra hours and more cash!

Before taking a part-time job, be sure to ask how flexible your boss is willing to be with your class and exam schedule.

For more job search tips and advice on job-hunting, visit Service Canada's Job Bank.

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