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Reviewing your budget and spending habits now will help you make smart financial decisions for the future. Try these 4 times to help maximize your budget.

As a student or recent grad, you likely have experienced many unexpected changes as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis. You’ve had to navigate the transition to online learning, move your community and friendships to online-only and may even be practicing remote volunteering. You’re doing a great job at adapting to the changes and forming new habits. Now is also a great time to review your budget and spending habits – making smart financial decisions now will help you prepare for the future.

It’s easy to click checkout when online shopping but that might not be the best thing for your wallet. To stay in control of your money review your spending plan regularly. If money has been feeling tight lately, here’s a few tips to help maximize your budget:

#1 – Check for relief programs

Try reaching out to your service providers to see if they have any assistance programs to help reduce your fixed expenses. RBC clients are eligible for the RBC Client Relief Program, your hydro/utilities provider may be offering reduced rates, some telecom providers are waiving overage fees, and many universities are offering additional bursaries and grants.

#2 – Say goodbye and cancel unnecessary subscriptions

Be ruthless with your subscriptions. Review all the subscriptions linked to your credit card or bank account (especially those that have been authorized for automatic payments). Let go of any subscription that are duplicates or you don’t use regularly – yes, it may be time to cancel that second streaming service! For any remaining subscriptions, check to see if you are eligible for a student account or if family subscription plans are available. If family or duo subscription plans are available, talk to your friends and family to see who wants to save.

#3 – Be Mindful About Your Spending

Online sales are tempting but practicing mindful spending can go a long way. Before each purchase, ask yourself if you need it or want it. For online shopping, a good tip is to wait a few days to complete your purchase after adding an item to cart. Try ask yourself these three questions before each purchase:

● Will this purchase make you happy?

● Is this a purchase that you will value later?

● Will you or your recipient use it?

Try checking out app like Wellspent1 to help you reflect on your spending and learn to spend better.

#4– Revisit your budget often

Stay vigilant and revisit your budget often! Try setting a reoccurring alert on your phone to help remind you to review your budget regularly. Keeping a print copy of your budget on your desk for quick reference can also be helpful. Using an AI tool like NOMI (available within the RBC Mobile2 app) can also give you relevant insights to help you adjust your budget according to your habits and identify opportunities to save.

Every dollar counts and practicing these tips can help you maximize your budget and stay on top of your money. Get to know your baseline budget with these tips. You’ve got this!

1 Wellspent is powered by RBC Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.

2 RBC Mobile is operated by Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Direct Investing Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc. RBC Mobile Student Edition is intended for clients under the age of 22, visit rbc.com/rbcmobilestudent for details.