The Importance of Financial Literacy at University


Financial literacy means you have a good understanding of various topics related to money, including budgeting, saving, and taxes. You’re never too young to develop your financial literacy. In fact, it becomes extra important while you’re at university for several reasons.

Why Students Need Financial Literacy

Only with financial literacy will you ensure you make smart decisions about your personal finances. This is important in every facet of your life — from creating a strategy to pay off your student loans to avoiding credit card debt and choosing the best ways to save or invest.

At university your biggest financial decisions will likely be around budgeting. It is up to you to decide how you’ll allocate your funds toward essentials like housing, food, and school supplies as well as entertainment and travel. You need to decide whether you should work a part-time job or whether you’d be better off focusing all your attention on your academics and extracurriculars.

How to Improve Your Financial Literacy

It’s worth actively seeking out ways to improve your financial literacy — this is far better than learning by making mistakes. Reading books and articles, taking free online courses, and attending seminars at university will all help. Tips you learn about may include using technology like budgeting apps, setting goals, and staying aware of current scams.

Key Topics to Understand

Financial literacy is a broad term. Your goals and current financial situation will influence what topics are most important to you now, although you should aim to develop your understanding of all the following over time:

  • Paying for university — All university students need to be clear about how they’ll be paying for their education. You should understand the different loans available to you and their repayment conditions as well as about grants and scholarships.
  • Budgeting — You need to create a monthly budget and allocate amounts to different categories. This will involve tracking purchases and making sure you always have enough in an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
  • Living independently — Living away from home means ensuring you pay your rent and utilities on time each month and have enough for groceries, household products, and other essentials.
  • Banking — It’s useful to understand how different types of bank accounts work, how you can manage accounts (including online and with a mobile app), and how to avoid fees.
  • Saving — You should try to begin saving as soon as possible, including for retirement. It’s important to understand your different investment options and their risks.
  • Credit cards — Using credit cards to your advantage can lead to rewards and no debt.
  • Taxes — As soon as you start earning, you’ll need to know the basics of income or self-employment tax, including deductions and tax credits.

Students who have good financial literacy see living on campus as a poor decision. It’s much more expensive than having your own apartment (especially when you take the meal plan into account) for a lower level of comfort. Plus, it doesn’t give you the chance to develop independent living skills or build a rental history, which will improve your chances of landing a great place to live after university. A better option is to move into Parkway Lofts. Our Brock University off-campus housing provides you with a luxury suite in a student community. Secure your spot now.

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