Impulsive buying often makes students buy things that they did not plan to buy or even need in the first place. When I have bought impulsively without thinking, it was an emotional reaction that sometimes lead to excessive spending. I came to learn however, that most items like extra clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets, etc. are things that can wait. If GPRC college students learn how to prioritize material needs, it will help determine essential from non-essential items. An important question to ask oneself when tempted to purchase a ‘luxury item’ is: “This item is nice but is it necessary?” If you answer this question truthfully, you will find that you can live without it.
One way to prioritize is to first be attentive to your actual budget, i.e. how much money do you currently have in your bank account? It would be wise to not get into the habit of depending on your credit card given their high-interest rates. It would be better to simply not live beyond your means. For example, if a GPRC student’s income consists of either student loans, financial gifts from relatives, or income from part-time jobs it is vital not to exhaust these sources leaving nothing left for paying essential bills and necessities such as food, housing, and textbooks.
A way to save money in Grande Prairie is to shop frugally in places such as Value Village for clothing (hey, they have some good stuff for cheap!) and No Frills for groceries. If necessary, there is also a GPRC Student Services Food Bank.
Another option to consider is to become less materialistic in life. Try to find satisfaction in non-material things such as helping a stranger, talking to friends, enjoying nature, etc. This may sound odd at first but in time, you may come to know genuine satisfaction that can last longer than a material object.
If you find that your bills/expenses exceed your budget, perhaps it is time to seek some form of employment. Check out the jobs for GPRC students on the College website.
Submitted by GPRC Student Ambassador, Makuashukwu Chukweta