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Students financially stressed as inflation rises

By Admin User on April 8, 2022

Gas prices, food prices, and tuition hikes, oh my! After an announcement at the beginning of this month that tuition prices are set to rise, students have been getting nothing but bad news for their wallets.

Now that classes are back in person, students that have to drive to campus are stuck spending more than they can handle on gas.

Domenic, a Power Engineering Technology Student at NAIT, is having to cut spending on things he enjoys to afford keeping fuel in his tank. He explains, “My course load essentially has me from six in the morning until about six at night, so I can’t work that much. So gas prices – it’s more than my paycheck, basically.

A lot of post-secondary students are financially independent for the first time. For them, the realities of inflation can come as a shock. All that time your parents spent worrying about whatever “inflation” was when you were a kid suddenly makes sense.

Inflation rates as of this month

As of March 2022, the inflation rate is 5.7 per cent, which is an increase of 0.6 per cent just from January this year. This is the fastest the inflation rate has increased in 30 years, and the highest it’s been since August 1991.

Compared to January last year, prices have increased on:

  • Gasoline by 31.7 per cent.
  • Transportation by 8.3 per cent (directly affected by gas prices).
  • Food by 5.7 per cent.
  • Shelter by 6.2 per cent.

And with the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, students can’t plan for their cost of living to go down any time soon.

What can students do?

Wendy Parr, a Portfolio Manager and Senior Investment Advisor for TD Wealth, strongly recommends that students create a realistic budget to manage their money.

She says that, according to her experience, “The people who are most successful are the ones who do a budget, because after you’ve done your budget, in your mind, you’re always following through on it. If you have an idea of what you should spend, it’s much better.”

Some tips Parr suggests for students creating a budget are:

  • Be realistic: include every expense, no matter how small.
  • Look at all your sources of income.
  • Prioritize large, essential expenses.
  • Track your spending (some banks can do this for you).
  • Leave room for spending on fun.

Parr also emphasizes that students should do their tax returns this year. She says that there are credits now that mean they could still get a check from the government, even if they haven’t made a dime this year.

If you are in need of financial advice, you can book an appointment with a NAIT financial advisor online.



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