School-related expenses are tough enough to handle without having to budget for leisure activities, but that’s the challenge the YOLO-oriented generation is willing to take on.
According to the recent TD Affording the School Year Poll
commissioned by TD Bank Group, just under half (47%) of current post-secondary students who join extracurricular activities have a summer job or a part-time job during the school year to help pay for them, compared to only 26% who rely on parents to fund these hobbies.
The survey found that 42% of respondents have a gym membership, while sports, art or music classes, and class trips are lower down in terms of participation. Shirley Malloy, a spokesperson for TD Canada Trust, suggests that students should try to extract more value from their post-secondary extracurriculars.
“When thinking about extracurricular activities, think beyond gym memberships and look for team activities where you can stretch your dollars while building skills, networking, and more, all which can give you the greatest return on your post-secondary experience,” she remarks.
The banking group gave some suggestions to enable students to comfortably afford their desired extracurricular activities. These include:
- Enjoying activities for less through school memberships or student discounts offered by certain establishments
- Starting an exercise or dance group by inviting friends and other network contacts to join
- If possible, pursuing income-generating certifications that can be achieved from proficiency in a certain hobby
- Using money management apps to keep track of spending
- Filing taxes to possibly avail of refunds on tax owed on paychecks from part-time jobs
"Extracurricular activities are a great way to meet new people, build your network and form lasting friendships that can carry on to your professional career," notes Malloy. "They also help manage the stress that comes with post-secondary education, which is why it's so important to budget and save so that you don't feel strapped for cash when it comes time to join."
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