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Planning and advice that supports your goals


Discover ways to reach your short- and long-term goals.

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Set goals



Open a youth account

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Spend wisely


Set goals

Determine your short- and long-term goals

Short-term goals have timelines in-between a few months to a few years. Long-term goals take several years or decades to fulfill. Below are some short- and long-term goals.

  • Short-term goals — emergency fund, next vacation
  • Long-term goals — car loan, home's down payment, education

While you work towards achieving your short- and long-term goals, ensure you know the expenses you have to pay month-by-month. Let's get a closer look into all the costs you need to consider.


Consider all costs

Post-secondary education is not cheap. According to Statistics Canada, in the 2019/2020 academic year, undergraduate students paid, on average, $6,463 for tuition. Considering tuition, books, residence, and food costs, you could be spending $10,000 per academic year. This amount of money can be scary to think about, but a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) can make it a whole lot better. With an RESP, every contribution you make, the government may also make a contribution depending on 1) the student's age and 2) your family's total income. 

Learn more about RESPs >


Create a budget 

Once you have a rough idea of how much money you'll need per academic year, it's time to create a budget. This will ensure that your numbers are accurate and that you take out a loan of the right amount. Below are the few, simple steps to create a budget:

  • Step #1  — Calculate your expenses for the upcoming school year (include tuition, books, transportation and costs of living)
  • Step #2 — Determine how much money you already have and expect to make during school (not everyone works during school, but if you plan to, your loan will be more affordable)
  • Step #3 — Calculate the difference between the amounts in step #1 and step #2  (this will indicate the amount you'll need to borrow)

PRO TIP! Organize your expenses into categories, such as:

  • Rent or mortgage payment
  • Utilities (water, electricity, wifi, etc.)
  • Food and household goods 
  • Clothing 
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Hobbies and entertainment

Apply for funding

As a post-secondary student, you could receive financial support in the form of a student loan, scholarship, or grant. A student loan is an amount of money you borrow to pay for school and pay back over time. A scholarship, bursary or award is free money a student is given to go towards school (i.e. tuition or books). Requirements for scholarships, bursaries, awards and grants differ. For example, some may look at family income, your academic record, volunteer experience, your heritage and more. 


Student loans

A student loan is a loan from the governement which helps pay for your school. These loans are meant to be paid back once the student graduates and is, assumably, working with a steady source of income. Government student loans offer the best terms. 

Learn more about eligibility of government student loans >


Credit cards

If you do not qualify for a student loan, you can apply for a student credit card. In the "Open a Youth Account" section, we identify the accounts we offer specifically for students and touch on the importance of building a strong credit rating.

Explore our credit cards >

If you do not qualify for a government loan, another option is a student line of credit. A student line of credit helps pay for expenses related to post-secondary education. With a line of credit, you only have to pay back the money you borrow by paying it off regularly and avoiding interest fees.

Learn more about our credit lines >


Scholarships, bursaries and grants

There are various scholarships, bursaries and grants you could receive to help pay for post-secondary. This is money you do not have to pay back. It's yours to keep to go towards tuition, books, cost of living and more.

Below are links to various funding you may be eligible for.

Credit Unions of BC Bursary Program >

Grants, scholarships, and other financial support >


PRO TIP! Check out your school's financial aid office or section on their website. Most schools have a system where you insert your information and they apply it to hundreds of scholarships and busaries and pull out the ones you're eligable for. It generally takes less than an hour to fill out and you can save thousands of dollars!


Open a youth account

Chequing and savings accounts

Making big payments for the first time, doesn't have to be stressful. We offer banking accounts specifically for post-secondary students. With our youth account, you can get the best out of a chequing account and a savings account. Below are the benefits of using a chequing account and a savings account:

  • Free e-transfers
  • No-fee account — save money on your everyday banking
  • Free access to online banking — every day, anytime
  • Free utility bill payments (such as your BC Hyrdo payments)

View our Youth Account perks >

You can develop a solid credit rating when you're young. This starts with obtaining a credit card and being responsible with it from the start. A credit card offers a secure and convenient way to make your purchases and is your door to online shopping. When it is used responsibly, it can help you build a strong credit rating and be a source of emergency money during tough times.

Learn more about maintaining good credit >


Spend Wisely

Refer to your budget

Keep your post-secondary budget easily accessible to you, whether it is written on a piece of paper and stored safely or a document on your computer. Before making big payments, which can include rent, tuition, and books, refer to your budget. Keeping track of your spending can ensure that you don't overspend.


PRO TIP! Life can take you anywhere and we get that. In the Shuswap, we have eight ATMs accessible for our members. Across the country, continent, and world members can make transactions at any AccuLink (Credit Union) ATM or THE EXCHANGE Network ATM without paying an additional fee.


PRO TIP! When you succeed, we succeed. For any questions about creating and maintaining a budget, members can contact our Contact Centre and speak to a specialist. Click here to give us a call.


Write down your deadlines

Along with referring to your budget, it is helpful to always be aware of your deadlines. Paying your rent, credit card interest, and car insurance on-time can help you build good financial habits. Having these habits early on will be useful in the future!


Tools & Resources


Budget Planner


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Savings Growth Calculator



Credit Education



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