Great Money Advice For Canadian College & University Students On How To Avoid Student Loans

by Mike Holman

I recently had a chance to read the book “More Money for Beer and Textbooks” which is a book written for students in post-secondary education or in their last year of high school or CEGEP.

It was written by Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard who are both educators and managed to get through their own schooling without any debt. They blog at MyUniversityMoney.com and YoungAndThrifty.ca.

This book is excellent. It provides all the information that a student or about-to-be student needs to know about how to manage money while at school.  It is written in an engaging and realistic style that should appeal to students.

It’s doubtful as to how many young people will buy this book on their own, so I would urge anyone who knows a young person who would benefit from this book to buy it for them. Let’s face it – an 18 year old isn’t going spend $20 on a book, but if you or someone close to them buys it and gets the kid to read it, the returns could be huge.

Some thoughts about the book

Chapter 15 – Choosing an in-demand career

I’m going to start with the best chapter in the book which is chapter 15 (although it should have been chapter 1).  This chapter deals with the topic of choosing an in-demand career.   So many people sign up for a field of study which isn’t likely to turn into a decent career and they put themselves into a big financial hole.  Your choice of career will outweigh any financial decisions you make while at school.

Kyle & Justin do a great job with this sensitive topic by pointing out that degrees that have good employment prospects are not necessarily “better” degrees, but that they tend to lead to better careers and better finances after graduation.   If you know someone who wants to do a degree which will lead to a promising Starbucks barista career – get them to read this chapter.

The cover

I love the cover.  Mmmm…beer.

School Costs

The book starts off with a very sobering and even depressing look at education costs and how much more they are than when old people like myself went to school.  Well worth it for parents to read if they aren’t aware of the ‘new math’ when it comes to paying for post-secondary education costs.

Housing

Great comparison of on and off campus housing.  Don’t assume on-campus housing is always more expensive.

Scholarships

Very valuable information and strategies about scholarships/grants etc.

Summer jobs

Good strategies about how to find a summer job.  The authors also give their opinion on working during the school year.

Other resources for students

For another good money book for students who are nearing the end of their academic careers or have recently graduated – check out Rob Carrick’s How not to move back in with your parents.

For parents of kids who are a bit younger, The RESP Book written by yours truly is a good resource for saving for post-secondary education using RESPs.

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