Have you ever thought about furthering your education but you can’t seem to gather the funds to actually attend? Well, try one of these 6 creative ways to fund your education and that education can become a real possibility.
1. Apply for national grants and scholarships
You would be amazed at how many grants and scholarships are available. These do depend on the province that you live in but every province has many scholarships. Why not apply? When it comes to your future, spending a little bit more time researching and applying for scholarships can go a long way. There are even specific scholarships for single moms, veterans and for people with disabilities. Pro tip: never apply for a scholarship; apply for every scholarship (that you are applicable for). The more scholarships you apply for, the better chance you have to get one. Even if a scholarship is only $100, that scholarship still brings you one step closer. Now, you’ve got $100 for education, what else can you do? Try the one or all of these next tips to make your way to the full amount!
2. Cook at home
It is amazing how much money you can save by just simply cooking from home and limiting your “eating out” consumption. In Canada almost two meals are purchased from restaurants every week per person, implying that the average person spends about $20 per week on expensive meals. Take the extra effort and spend that money on groceries and cook from home. Instead of preparing just dinner, make extras for leftovers; this is something most people want to do but never do because they think it takes too much time. If you are cooking 2 chicken breasts on the barbecue, why not throw on two more and have lunch or dinner for the next day? Meal prepping is becoming very popular amongst university students for a reason; they only have to cook twice a week. Give it a try and you’ll not only save money from not eating out but also save yourself a little bit more time every week.
3. Peer-to-Peer Borrowing
P2P borrowing is definitely underutilized. In the good old days, you had to go to mom and dad or knock on grandma’s door to ask for a couple dollars when you are in need. Now, we have social media! Why not ask if one of your friends would be willing to lend you some money? Draft up a contract, and now you’ve got your funding! Rather than going to the government for a student loan, perhaps one of your family members would be willing to loan you the money. If one person cannot afford it, why not try a crowd funding project to raise the funds to go to school? These are two options that are extremely viable for funding your education, which are generally overlooked.
4. Avoid that coffee fix
Have an addiction to that cup of Joe every morning? If you can reduce your consumption, and put that money in a jar instead, you would be surprised how much money you would save. Whether it’s $1.85 at Tim Hortons or $3.50 at Starbucks, you can save between $675 and $1277. Wow! That’s up to $3,881 in only 3 years, and that doesn’t include interest! Here’s the problem, you actually have to take that two dollars, and put it away in a big jar or change holder. The same applies to other things like smoking, if a pack of cigarettes is $10, and you smoke three packs a week, you can save $1560 per year. This is only true if that money is actually put away; when you make the conscious effort to not get a coffee or buy a pack of cigarettes, you have to put that money in a jar or into an account at the bank. By quitting and saving that money, you can invest in your future education! Image if you quit both! That could be up to $2837 in one year! Although it will be difficult to quit cold turkey, the end result is worth it. Not only will your health improve, you will be able to afford a new education and find that dream job you’ve always wanted.
5. Student Loans
This isn’t the most creative option, but it is the most commonly used. Student loans are available, so why not take advantage of it? Payments do not start until you have finished your education, which gives you less stress when you are going through your schooling, and it also gives you a little bit of time to find a job to pay for the loan. Loans are provincial, not federal entities, so the rules and regulations do vary from province to province. Do not fear student loans, they are extremely useful and can help you get the education of your dreams.
Little known fact alert: you are able to withdraw your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) for full-time education. That’s right! Your RRSPs can help you now! The best part about it is the lower interest rate charged for this plan. Now you don’t have to wait for retirement for your RRSPs to bring you a great future! Generally speaking, the repayment is about one tenth of the amount withdrawn per year, so if the course is $3995, and you are able to take out the full amount, yearly payments could be $400 plus interest. Not too bad of a yearly payment! Don’t wait to find out more, your education is calling for you! Check out more on the Life Long Learning Plan here to learn more.
Funding your education can seem like a daunting task, but an investment in your mind can go a long way. It has been said that knowledge is the number one thing a person can invest in. Take a look at one of these 6 creative ways to fund your education and you too can be better educating yourself!