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Want to up your budget game? Practice your own skills with this simple online budgeting tool.

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Me and My Money: The University Years: Introducing Christine

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That was me, four years ago. I was so naive when I got to Mac: about living on my own, about money and budgets, and many other things.

My name is Christine Paget, and I’m a fine arts major. I’m just about to graduate now, and my bff Saadia and I are getting together tonight to go through some old photos we took from our favourite memories of the incredible years we spent at Mac.

The awesome adventures we went on. The cool people we met. The hilarious things that happened – all the time! And the lessons we learned along the way…

But it all started here; meeting my room-mates, seeing my new place. That first night Saadia and I made so many plans for Frosh week! OK, I think you have everything…Call me or your mother if you need anything! My baby! Thanks Dad! She’ll be fine! We’ll all watch out for each other.

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Frame 1:
On the phone with Karen, split frame, making frosh week plans

Hello? Hey Karen! No I was up all night working on my budget.

Do I want an extra ticket to the concert of the year? Backstage passes too??! Are you kidding?? Of course I’m interested!

That’s awesome! I’m so—Wait—how much are tickets?

… I’m out. Thanks anyway.

I’ll get a job!

Hi Karen? It’s me again! I’m in! And I’ll make us some awesome t-shirts to wear at the show! ROAD TRIP!

Now I just have to finish up my budget with a few adjustments.

I started the hunt bright and early the next day. Sorry, sweetie, we’ve done all our hiring for the season.

Nothing, sorry. We just hired three college kids. Leave a number; we might need sales clerks at xmas time.

No, sorry, I just forgot to take the sign down. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be.

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Hey Saadia it’s me. No, no luck at all. You have any ideas? It sounds like we’re in the same boat.

My allowance doesn’t come in until the 23rd and I just bough that ticket. I’m pulling up my bank balance now.

Gasp! I’ll call you back…

I decided to force myself to have a good time, but it was hard. I made shirts like I promised. But with the ticket price it completely wiped me out.

I’d never noticed how expensive everything was.

It was hard to relax and just enjoy myself, all I could think about was my bank account. Knowing I had to make it 2 more weeks with no money.

Okay, the selfie with the headliner backstage might have made it all worth it. I’ll never forget that night.

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That was so awesome! They were so great! Aren’t you glad you came Chrissie?

I told you it was so worth it! Yeah it was great.

But now it was back to reality.

4-5 days later…

Hi Saadia. No No luck finding a job. My bank balance is wiped out.
Do you think I could borrow some money?

Saadia came through like a sweetheart.

Why didn’t you ask us for help? Because I didn’t want mom and dad to know. I didn’t want to run to my big brother and sister. Besides, it I don’t find a job you’re next on my list to hit up next month.

I spent money really stupidly. Money I didn’t have.

I still can’t believe you made that shirt. It’s incredible. Waitaminit! That gives me an idea!

And that started it. You have it in stock? That’s great! I’ll take all of it, I’ll be in first thing. Thank you!

This is perfect! Hopefully I’ll be back for more!

No thanks, I can manage! It’s only about five block! And two bus transfers.

I think I worked 36 hours straight when I got home, I was so jazzed!

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My booth at frosh week was a smashing success!

I’ll take one! Give me two! You take cards right? Love these! These are so great! My sister will want one too! I love these!

I was able to pay Saadia back right away. I knew you could do it! Great job! I couldn’t have done it without your help! I got tickets to MS-Fest and I met a guy! Want to go? You can meet him.

Let me check… If I cut back on eating out this month, skip the hot yoga… I can make this work. Yes I’m in!

This time I was really able to go and enjoy myself! I think I really started to understand the importance of living within a budget. Knowing how much money I had to work with each month, and how to re-adjust my finances so I could treat myself every now and then really helped me avoid some unnecessary stresses.

The credit card I signed up for with mom arrived a few days later. I remember the bank gave me some kind of advice for using it, but I’ve got it all figured out. Concert tickets… text books… that cute dresses I saw on James Street…