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Managing your finances

It's important to ensure you have enough money to cover all of your expenses during your time in Canada. Here are some things you can do to help manage your finances:

Prepare a budget

A budget is a plan for allocating money. When living on a fixed income as most students do, preparing and following a budget is crucial.

To plan a basic budget, follow these steps:

  1. Write down all of your expenses. A list of tuition and other fees can be found here.
  2. Make a list of your financial resources. Be sure to include only income that you know you will be receiving.
  3. Subtract your expenses from your income.

Use an interactive budget planner to plan your budget or attend a Budgeting Basics workshop hosted by the Student Success Office.

You can also register for EnRICHed Start on the Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) website.  A free, video-based training program that teaches you how to manage your money and build a solid financial future.

These tips on how to save money (PDF) may also be helpful to you as a student living in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. 

Converting to Canadian currency

To make sure you are planning your budget based on accurate information, it is important to consider currency conversions. If you are unsure, contact your local bank for information on converting your country’s currency into Canadian dollars.

Working in Canada

After planning your budget, if you see that your expected income is less than your expected expenses, you will know how much money you will need to make up the difference. You have a few different options to find employment in Canada.

Financial Assistance

If you find yourself in need of financial assistance, there are resources to help you. Undergraduate students in second year and above are eligible to apply for the International Work/Study Program and International Bursaries.

Information on financial assistance is available from Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) in the Registrar's Office. Graduate students should make inquiries through the Graduate Studies Office.

Pay your student fees

There are deadlines each term for arranging the payment of your tuition fees. 

If you do not arrange your fees by the deadline, you will be charged a late fee.

Instructions on how to arrange your fees is available on the Student Accounts website. If you have questions, you can contact the Student Accounts office.

Exchange students usually pay tuition fees to their home university, but fees for the University Health Insurance Plan and the Federation of Students (FEDS)/Graduate Student Association (GSA) Health Plan are compulsory and must be paid to the University of Waterloo.

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