Do mom and dad know best? Depends on who you ask
A large majority (76 per cent) of students say they are confident in their ability to manage their finances, but many students (87 per cent) believe they still have a lot to learn. And while 89 per cent of parents believe they've been a good financial role model, fewer students (80 per cent) believe that to be true.
"We meet with students and parents throughout the year, and whether first year, third year or planning ahead, we want to know: have parents and students had 'the talk?'" said
The talk can also help alleviate worry and stress. Sometimes experience counts, and mom or dad may know best. According to the poll, parents are much less likely to believe their child is worried about having enough money to cover expenses (57 per cent versus 71 per cent of students). Students are also more anxious about taking on debt than their parents think they are (69 per cent versus 60 per cent of parents).
"Between acceptance letters, picking my courses and planning for school, I was already so overwhelmed with decisions. The next looming decision was, 'how do I pay for this?'" said
Jarman added: "We know students have a lot more anxiety than parents might think when it comes to their finances surrounding post-secondary school. To help reduce stress, parents and students need to speak openly about finances and look at what options are available. Parents and students alike need some peace of mind so students can focus on education, and not let financial worries wear them down."
Here are some tips for students as they prepare for "the talk" this fall:
- •Make a budget, and revisit it often: Preparing a budget is the best way to stay in good financial shape when
you are away at school. There are a number of online tracking tools
that are available, including RBC's myFinanceTracker, which
automatically keeps track of your spending so you can easily see if
you're sticking to your budget.
•Do your research: Check online sources to see if you qualify for free money that you don't
have to pay back; like scholarships, bursaries, or grants. A bit of
research could save you thousands of dollars.
•Only borrow what you have to: Your budget will include all the money that you have for education,
like savings, RESPs and scholarships. Compare that to the total cost of
school, both hard and discretionary costs, and only borrow what you
need to fill in the gap.
•Take advantage of your student status: Ask for student discounts anywhere you go: hair salon, retailers and
most restaurants around campus. Do you need your own car or can you
take advantage of public transit? Can you rent your textbooks or buy
used from your campus bookstore? Can you change your mobile plan to
ensure you're only paying for what you need?
About RBC's financial planning advice, resources and interactive tools
RBC's Advice Centre offers advice and tools for students. Interactive tools and calculators provide customized information covering many facets of personal finance, including the Student Budget Calculator and the Debt Reduction Plan. With the guidance of RBC advisors who are available to chat live, Canadians have access to free, no-obligation professional advice about RBC products and services and personalized one-on-one service. Further information is available at rbcadvicecentre.com. In addition, RBC's myFinanceTracker, a comprehensive online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their spending habits. As well, RBC Virtual Visa Debit enables clients to pay for online, over the phone, or mail order purchases with funds directly from their bank account.
About RBC Student Finances Poll 2014
The 2014 RBC Student Finances Poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid through a national online survey of 1,180 students aged 17 to 24 (as of
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than