Post-secondary students confident in financial
knowledge: RBC Poll
Students living at home and away have different
expectations when it comes to debt and managing finances
TORONTO, August 14, 2013 The majority
of post-secondary students (64 per cent) plan to live away
from home while attending school this fall, despite expecting
the cost to be about 50 per cent higher than those living
according to the 2013 RBC Student Finances Poll. Of those
students living away, more than eight-in-ten (83 per cent)
are confident in their ability to manage their finances.
"For many students, post-secondary school is the first
time that they are responsible for managing their own expenses,"
said Melissa Jarman, director, Student Banking, RBC. "Armed
with a budget and an interest in learning, many of these students
are gaining a strong foundation out of the gates that can
have a significant impact on their financial future. Good
financial habits should be as important as study habits for
in their ability, almost eight-in-10 (78 per cent) students
living at home say that they still have "a lot to learn"
when it comes to managing finances, with 36 per cent of them
assuming that their parents will take care of their financial
needs. Only 25 per cent of those living away from home make
that same assumption about their parents.
While students who live away expect to take on 40 per cent
more debt than their peers who live at home ($30,800 compared
to $22,000), the RBC poll finds that both groups expect to
pay back debt in a similar
timeframe. Those who live away expect to take 4.8 years
to pay back their debt, while those who live at home expect
to take 4.2 years.
"Whether you live at home or away, setting financial
goals and sticking to them is important," added Jarman.
"The results from this poll highlight the fact that students
want to take responsibility for their financial health and
are looking to their trusted sources, including their parents,
To help students manage their finances, Jarman offers the
Living at home:
- Understand your household expenses: Your parents
may be footing the bill, but getting an understanding of
how much it costs to run the household will be helpful in
forecasting future expenses for when you do live on your
- Make a budget: While you might not be responsible
for household expenses, you will likely experience transportation/parking
costs, student fees, clothing, entertainment and food (likely
including a morning cup of coffee).
- Save for later: Living at home through school could
give you an opportunity to save for your future. Putting
money aside on a regular basis will give you a head start
when it's time to move out.
Living away at school:
- Know all your financial options: Look for scholarships,
bursaries and work programs to help fund your education.
- Track your expenses: From utilities to groceries,
knowing where your money is going is the first step to establishing
a budget. Also, if you're living with roommates, decide
in advance how you will share costs to ensure there aren't
- Assess your needs: Do you need your own car or
can you take advantage of public transit? Can you rent your
textbooks or buy used ones from your campus bookstore? Can
you change your mobile plan to ensure you're only paying
for what you need?
For both groups:
- Ask for student rates everywhere you go: From the bus
to the movies, retailers often give discounts to students.
- Be disciplined about debt: Whether that's using a credit
card for everyday spending or taking out a loan to offset
tuition costs, understanding all the factors that impact
the cost of borrowing money will put you in control.
About RBC's financial planning advice,
resources and interactive tools
Centre offers advice and tools for students. Interactive
tools and calculators provide customized information covering
many facets of personal finance, including the Debt
Reduction Plan and the Debt
Consolidation Calculator. With the guidance of RBC advisors
who are available to chat live, Canadians have access to free,
no-obligation professional advice about RBC products and services
and personalized one-on-one service. Further information is
available at rbcadvicecentre.com.
In addition, RBC's myFinanceTracker,
a comprehensive online financial management tool, offers all
personal RBC online
banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set
budget and track their spending habits. As well, RBC Virtual
Visa Debit enables clients to pay for online, over the
phone, or mail order purchases with funds directly from their
About RBC Student Finances Poll 2013
The 2013 RBC Student Finances Poll was conducted by Ipsos
Reid through a national online survey of 1,107 post-secondary
students (as of September 2013). Data was collected from June
18 to July 2, 2013. The results are based on a sample where
quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics
and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of
the actual Canadian student population according to Census
data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel
provide results that are intended to approximate a probability
sample. An unweighted, probability sample of this size, with
100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin
of error of ±3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources
of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and
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For more information, please contact:
RBC, 416 974-2727, email@example.com