Top 3 Online Money Saving Resources for Students

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The Top 3 Online Money Saving Resources for Canadian Students

Published by Alison Masniuk | @AlisonPaigeM

Oh, the power of technology and all that is the internet!

The glorious day has come where you, the student, can search millions of resources and guides to your financial freedom!

(Or at least enough to keep you out of debt for the next ten years).

But which of these resources are tangible and yield promising leads to the student facing $17,000 in yearly tuition?

With so many ads and companies fighting for your views on social media, it is important to find the most informative and authentic resources to help you plan your post-secondary budget.

The Reality of Student Debt

According to Statistics Canada, the average student graduates with over $25,000 of student debt – whether that be through lines of credit or government issued loans.

Scary right? For so many of these new graduates, they are also starting positions in entry-level office jobs that pay less than the living wage in Alberta ($15-17/hr).

So what can you, the student, do to keep your debt low and your budget on point?

Here are my Top 3 Online Resources to help you prepare for your post-secondary budget:

Student Life Network

Who wants free money? Students do! How are they going to get it? Student Life Network!

Student Life Network is one of North America's fastest growing student networks that offers exclusive contests and experiences for Canadian college, university and high-school students.

Student Life Network is one of North America’s fastest growing student networks that offers exclusive contests and experiences for Canadian college, university and high-school students.

How I Found It

I found this site through Parent Life Network when I was expecting with my daughter in 2014.

I had enrolled in my first U of C certificate program shortly after my daughter was born.

I discovered that not only does Parent Life Network want to help parents, but they offer students a number of great opportunities to win some cash too through their sister site, Student Life Network. 

Why I Use It

Student Life Network in itself is actually one of Canada’s largest student social networks. You can connect with other students across the nation to seek out job opportunities and more.

The great thing about Student Life Network is they give you so many ways to increase your chances of winning through simple steps such as following social profiles, sharing articles and watching videos.

What They Offer

One of the three campaigns Student Life Network is showcasing includes Canada’s Luckiest Student Contest.

The contest is a chance for students to win a prize bundle worth up to $25,000 in goodies. This includes an opportunity to win $20,000 in cash, $5,000 in groceries from College Pro and so much more.

Not only is there chances to win money, but Student Life’s blog provides students with some articles that relate to the entire post-secondary experience.

One of my personal favorites blog posts was by Hilary Hoogsten, 8 Ways To Survive An All-Nighter and Emerge at Dawn With An Awesome Paper. The article speaks to the inner night owl of all students.

Yconic

The ultimate online spot for Canadian students who are searching for scholarships and grants.

Yconic is a student help platform that aims to make life easier, more affordable and less stressful for students pursuing higher education in Canada, the USA and abroad.

Yconic is a student help platform that aims to make life easier, more affordable and less stressful for students pursuing higher education in Canada, the USA and abroad.

How I Found It

Back in 2011, I was an over-achieving honors student graduating with a sense of purpose from high school and determined to find all the free money I could to minimize my potential debt for school.

Yconic, formerly known as studentawards.com, was my home base for all things scholarships passed onto me by one of my teachers.

Why I Use It

Let me tell you how much I love this site: You can tailor your search for scholarships, grants, awards, etc. to your particular field of study or as broadly as you like.

They also send you periodic notifications of upcoming contests you’re eligible for.

These vary in lump sums from $500 or more for your education and they give you bonus entries for referring your peers.

Extra entries – more opportunities for saving money.

What They Offer

Yconics’ money-for-school section gives students a broad range of scholarships available with their deadlines and details.

So if you can’t find what you’re looking for with your search, you can preview all available scholarships and awards.

Also, Fund Your Future is a fantastic student scholarship/bursary sponsored by Scotiabank.

Partnering with Scotiabank, Yconic has created an excellent set of resources for students to have the chance to win some cash, apply for student credit, student budget calculator tools and more.

LowestRate’s.ca Student’s Savings Guide 

An online guide that provides students with smarter choices surrounding their savings.

LowestRates.ca's Back to School Money Saving Guide For Students

LowestRates.ca’s Back to School Money Saving Guide For Students is an excellent resource for students looking for the best options to save extra money while attending post-secondary.

How I Found It

Being that I work with social media all day, every day, it did not take long for me to uncover some relevant hashtags to my student life.

#StudentSurvivalKit popped up in my notifications, and I uncovered LowestRates.ca along the way through their blog for their Student’s Savings Guide.

Why I Use It

While the guide itself provides many clear tips to reduce your spending, what I love about this guide is LowestRates.ca has broken down the costs per universities a student will come across for everyday expenses.

The best part? The guide offers you the most affordable solution for you as a student.

An example of this is how LowestRates.ca has researched and pulled excellent options in their Student Survival Guide for students to choose from. They offer their recommended best choice for everyday expenses.

Some of these expenditures include cell phone plans, car insurance, new vs. used textbooks and even the price of a medium coffee per day from fast-food establishments.

While it may all seem small individually, the reality of the cost of student life piles up swiftly.

What They Offer

Not only can you download the wicked Student Survival Guide for free, but they’re hosting a 2016 Student Survival Kit contest where you can win a “brand new backpack carrying a 13” MacBook Air, complete with a sleek case.”

Furthermore,  you can also win over $205 in gift cards from “Amazon ($25), Best Buy ($50), iTunes ($30), Tim Hortons ($50), and Subway ($50).”

Let’s not forget the essentials – this survival kit includes every student’s staple meals: Kraft Dinner and some Mr. Noodles.

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Summary

Overall, these are my personal top 3 online resources that have provided the most value to myself as a student.

I hope these sites and resources empower you to put effort into planning your educational budget to make the most of your post-secondary experience.

What are some of your favorite resources online and offline that have made a difference for you in post-secondary planning?

Let me know!

Alison Masniuk is an entrepreneur residing in Calgary, Alberta. She runs a social media consulting business while attending University of Calgary Continuing Education, finishing up her second certificate program in Marketing. Her particular focuses are digital marketing, e-recruitment, and social media. She is also a work-at-home mom to a wonderful little girl named Sadie. Alison is a meticulous worker and scholar, who has mastered the art of multitasking and the creative process to provide her clients with authentic and unique digital solutions for their business.

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