Five Smart Money Tips For Living Off Campus
Here are some tips to help you keep yourself in great financial shape.
Renting your own apartment? Sharing a house with friends? Living away from home and off-campus is an exciting experience that brings a huge sense of independence but it can also bring new challenges such paying bills and sharing expenses.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the experience –and keep yourself in great financial shape:
- 1. Figure out What the Costs Are, What You’ll Share and Who Is Responsible Before You Move In
A good relationship with your roommates requires sorting out the financial details up front. Talk about who’s responsible for paying bills and rent, how you’re splitting costs, and whether or not you will share food. It might seem like a good idea to share groceries, but you may find too often that your hungry roommate has eaten your last super noodles. Set the ground rules in advance.
- 2. Set up Automatic Payments
When you set up automatic payments for things like utilities or cell phone bills, you will avoid any missed payment and late charges. If you have a credit card this is especially important to avoid incurring interest charges or affecting your credit rating. If you’re an RBC client, it’s easy to set up automatic payments to your credit card in RBC Online banking.
- 3. Explore Equal Billing for Utilities
Setting up equal billing for your utility payments will help to ensure you aren’t surprised with an increase in your heating bill come January.
- 4. Use Money Transfers
Cheques can take up to 7 days to be withdrawn from your account. Interac e-Transfers are an easier and faster way to move money around between your and your parents, pay costs between roommates, or even to pay rent to a landlord. And, if you and whomever you need to transfer money to are both RBC clients, you can transfer the funds instantly at no cost in RBC Online banking.
- 5. Sign up for Electronic Statements and Keep Your Receipts
Just to avoid any potential disagreements about who paid what it’s a great idea to keep track of all your statementsand receipts all year long. Wherever possible sign up for electronic statements –it’s less paper to keep track of and you’ll have an easily accessible record of all statements and payments. Plus some of your purchases –such as your monthly transit pass –may be eligible for tax credits. Keep everything in one place and it will be easy to find when it’s time to complete your tax return.