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Find Your Financial Balance

  • balance

Tips to manage your debt

Higher costs and interest rates mean that you may need to adjust your budget to find the right balance between daily spending and paying down debt.

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Managing your finances means finding the right balance. Inflation and higher interest rates signal that you may need to adjust your budget to find the right balance between daily spending and paying down debt. The right balance will depend on your financial situation and goals.

This Financial Literacy Month, learn about good versus bad debt and how to manage your money in a changing world.

 


How to manage your money when interest rates rise

A rise in interest rates can cost you more to borrow money. Plan to pay down your debt as much as possible, starting with the highest interest rate first so you pay less money towards interest.

Learn how interest rates work and what to do when they increase


Make a plan to pay off your debt

Decide on a strategy for paying off your debt based on the types of debt and the amount of debt you owe. Taking steps to manage your debt can help you take control of your finances and increase your financial resilience.

Get tips on paying down your debt


What to consider before borrowing money

Responsible borrowing can help you build a good credit history. However, using credit to spend beyond your means could put you at risk of no longer being able to manage your debt.

Ask yourself these questions before borrowing money or using credit


Know your rights when borrowing money

The interest rate for your loan is included in your loan agreement. Find out what your financial institution must tell you about interest rates when you borrow.

Learn about your right to information

Monday, November 7, 2022
Category
Financial Aid

Don’t fall for the latest online shopping scam

  • scam

By : The Competition Bureau Canada

Canadians are relying on online shopping more than ever. However, this puts us at greater risk of being targeted by fraudsters.

Even if you’ve shopped online for years, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest tricks as scammers’ techniques evolve.

In recent years, they’ve gone from asking for wire transfers, banking details, and searching out your credit card number to going after gift cards, cryptocurrency and access to your online bank accounts.

Here are some key tips to protect yourself when shopping online:

  • Do your research and comparison shop so you have a sense of realistic pricing
  • Read the terms and conditions, as well as refund and return policies
  • Use your Internet browser’s ad blocker to hide sponsored ads and pop-ups
  • Request a full refund if your order is unavailable or can’t be fulfilled at the advertised price
  • Keep any records of email confirmations and customer service conversations
  • Review your credit card and bank statements frequently and carefully for recurring or unknown charges
  • Remember that if the price is too good to be true, it probably is
  • Take online reviews with a grain of salt, and consult multiple sources for feedback

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contacted by a scammer or misled by an online ad or marketing tactic, report it to the Competition Bureau or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Resources

Monday, October 24, 2022
Category
Financial Aid

Alberta Scholarships update

  • Update

Alberta Scholarships and Awards

 

The 2022-23 scholarship and award applications are available!

Learn more about scholarships and awards offered by the Alberta Government and apply now at Alberta Scholarships.

The following scholarships and awards will close on October 31:

  • Alberta Barley Commission - Eugene Boyko
  • Alberta Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship
  • Alberta Federation of Agriculture Scholarship
  • Alex Decoteau Award of Honour
  • Anna & John Kolesar Memorial Scholarship
  • Canadian Oil Sands Network for Research & Development Scholarship
  • Dr Robert & Anna Shaw Scholarship
  • Janet & Horace Allan Scholarship
  • Jason Lang Scholarship
  • Jo-Anne Koch for Bright Children Society Scholarship
  • Kereya Energy - Peter Renton Memorial Scholarship
  • Languages in Teacher Education Scholarship
  • Maria Sava Polish Heritage Scholarship
  • Tiessen Foundation

Alex Decoteau Award of Honour

 

The Alex Decoteau Award of Honour recognizes the sacrifice of Canada's brave veterans and their families and supports them in their post-secondary pursuits in Alberta. 

Valued at $5,000, this award helps meet the Alberta Government’s commitment to make it easier for Canadian veterans and their families to transition from service to the next steps in their careers. An individual may receive a lifetime maximum of two awards.  

Canadian Armed Forces members must be returning soldiers who:

  • actively served in designated military operations in the Canadian Armed Forces (Regular or Reserves), or
  • were permanently disabled as a result of participation in Canadian Armed Forces training.

Applicants who are family members of a Canadian Armed Forces Member must be spouses/common-law partners, or children of a Canadian Armed Forces soldier who:

  • actively served in designated military operations in the Canadian Armed Forces (Regular or Reserves), or
  • is deceased or permanently disabled while serving, or as a result of a designated military operation, or participation in Canadian Armed Forces training.

How to Apply

Submit the completed application form and all supporting documentation to Alberta Student Aid by October 31, 2022.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply for the Alex Decoteau Award of Honour, visit:

 studentaid.alberta.ca | Student Aid Contacts

For other information regarding Ambrose Awards, please contact:

Roxanne Poelstra
Financial Aid & Awards Coordinator

financialaid@ambrose.edu
(403) 410-2938

Book an Appointment

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Category
Financial Aid

Indigenous Careers Award

  • Indigenous Careers Award

The Indigenous Careers Award is designed to encourage Indigenous Albertans (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) to pursue and complete post-secondary studies in certificate, diploma, applied degree and bachelor's degree programs.

Award Value:
$2,000 per semester / maximum of $4,000 in an academic year

Credential Types:

Students must be enrolled in a certificate, diploma, applied or bachelor’s degree program.

All program bands are eligible for the Indigenous Careers Award.

To Receive This Award:

  • The Fall 2022 and/or Winter 2023 term (a term is defined as a study period of up to 17 weeks in length),
  • At least 60% of a full course load (40% of a full course load if you are a student with a documented permanent disability). 
  • Have satisfactory academic standing, as determined by the school.

You must also meet all of these eligibility criteria:

  • Be a Status Indian/First Nations, Non-Status Indian/First Nations, Métis or Inuit and be able to provide a copy of proof of Indigenous ancestry
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or have protected person status under:
  • Be a resident of Alberta.

Application Deadline: Fall - November 5, 2022
                                      Winter - February 5, 2023
Indigenous Careers Award Application 

For complete eligibility criteria and to access the application, contact:

Roxanne Poelstra
Financial Aid & Awards Coordinator

financialaid@ambrose.edu
(403) 410-2938

Book an Appointment

Monday, September 19, 2022
Category
Financial Aid

Jason Lang Scholarship

The scholarship recognizes and rewards Alberta post-secondary students for their academic achievements and encourages them to continue in their undergraduate or professional program of study.

Value

$1,000

Deadline

September 30, 2022

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible an applicant must:

  • Be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person (visa students are not eligible),
     
  • Be an Alberta resident and to be considered an Alberta resident one of the following conditions must apply:
    • one parent, or legal guardian has maintained permanent residence in Canada for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to commencing post-secondary studies and be residing in Alberta, or
    • Alberta is the last place the student has lived for 12 consecutive months immediately prior to commencing post-secondary studies, or
    • the student’s spouse/partner has maintained permanent residence in Alberta for 12 consecutive months prior to the person attending post-secondary.
       
  • Be enrolled full-time in the second or subsequent year of an undergraduate program at a publicly funded post-secondary institution in Alberta,
     
  • Have achieved a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.2 on a 4.0 point scale based on an 80% full course load in the previous fall and winter terms.

Note: A term is defined as a study period of up to 17 weeks in length. Co-op work terms, internships or exchange programs may be eligible as long as these programs are a mandatory component of the undergraduate or professional program.

Students are not eligible for a Jason Lang Scholarship if they:

  • Are enrolled in a one year certificate program,
  • Do not return to a publicly funded post-secondary institution in the fall or winter terms of the next academic year,
  • Are recipients of a Louise McKinney Scholarship for the same period of study, or
  • Have received the lifetime maximum of three Jason Lang Scholarships.

Nominees must be enrolled at eligible Alberta public post-secondary schools (includes publicly-funded colleges, technical institutes, universities and private colleges accredited to grant degrees). 

Apply Now

Thursday, September 1, 2022
Category
Financial Aid

I prefer tea

  • Tea

I virtually attended a national financial aid workshop and I loved every session because of the many learnings that are available. Kerry K. Taylor did a session: GET A Fresh Start WITH YOUR MONEY (Taylor, Kerry K., 2022). I really loved her BUDGET WITH BUCKETS tip. Ya, I know. Budgets. But stick with us because this is different whereby a little bit of behavioural science is used to switch up the budget game.

Rethink. When it comes to budgeting, we all have different needs, priorities, and preferences. Some of us prefer tea, everyone else is weird. But regardless of your caffeine status, you're more likely to have better financial wellbeing if you take the time to create a budget that reflects your lifestyle.

Know where your money goes

The first step to budgeting is knowing exactly where your money goes. Start by tracking your money for about three months, and make a note of everything you earn and spend. My bank app now has different pictures for my eating out, groceries, transfers, shopping, investing, payroll deposits, etc. Once you have a good idea of your regular income and costs, you can build a budget to suit your needs.

Start Piecing Your Income

‘Piecing’ involves splitting your income into accounts (or pieces), with a specific budget for each.  It’s a helpful way to manage your spending and saving.

Here is my big-picture pieces (with percentages) that reflect how we generally think about saving and spending. The Pie Plan Pieces is less about the small details and more about the big picture.  

 

A simple approach is the 50:15:15:10:10 method:

  • Plan 50% of your income for essential living expenses (shelter, groceries, bills).
  • Plan 15% of your income for lifestyle costs.
  • Plan 10% of charity and or a tithe.
  • Dedicate 15% of your income to save for the future or pay off the past. You may need to increase this category if you're aiming to reduce more debt or increase your savings.
  • Expect the unexpected with 10% dedicated to missed or forgotten expenses. What's the unexpected? The Unexpected piece is a life preserver for day-to-day budgeting. It's common to be overly optimistic about reducing expenses or earning more money, and this over-optimism can easily blow up your plan.  It's also easy to forget a once-a-year expense, so use this category to keep your budget in balance.

How you slice your dollars into pieces is up to you – we're all different so plan your pie to meet YOUR needs. If it's not working today, go ahead and adjust it for tomorrow.

Setup your accounts

Once you know how much to slice into each piece, divide your income accordingly each time you are paid, and automate it to an account. This is a great way to keep you on track with your spending so you only spend what you’ve dedicated for each specific purpose.

The Pie Plan Pieces is most cost effective if your bank allows you to make several fee-free sub-accounts under your main bank account. Being able to transfer money back and forth without a fee is also key. Many online banks and credit unions offer sub-accounts for dividing your money into categories.

 

It's easier to stick to a plan and not overspend because you can see how much money you have in each sub-account. And ya, be flexible.

What we've done is create a system and an environment to help you budget WITHOUT needing to rethink every step, every time you spend or save money. Plus, automating your budget reduces the need to keep making decisions (which can be exhausting) AND puts good new habits into play. This Pie Plan Pieces uses the science behind mental accounting to link your budgeting categories to dedicated bank accounts.

Good job! You read it, now determine your Pie Plan Pieces. Enjoy your tea, bubble tea, or whatever.

Become a Squawkfox Insider:

Get Kerry's free (and infrequent) newsletter and join over 50,000 subscribers: www.squawkfox.com/squawkfox-insider

Friday, July 15, 2022
Category
Financial Aid
MyAmbrose

Spring school financing? Use Continuing Student Scholarships

  • Fees

A renewed program is available to Continuing Student Scholarship recipients who are attending spring courses at Ambrose. Up to half of your award can be allocated toward spring course tuition and the other portion can be allocated toward fall tuition.

Please contact financialaid@ambrose.edu to implement.

Also remember to apply for Financial Aid by June 1.  Application is available online on Financial Aid homepage.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Category
Financial Aid
MyAmbrose

Graduating?

  • Repayment

Congrats! Here are my top 4 tips

  1. Do you have a Student Loan? Make sure you know what repayment looks like and set yourself up for a good credit score for years to come.

  2. If you are continuing on to graduate school, check out their website for funding and connect with their financial aid & awards office. Knowledge First Financial Graduate Scholarship Awards is one you could check out.

  3. Do you have a spending plan of action? You may be looking for work or already have something lined up. Be on top of your finances by setting a plan. Credit Counselling Society has a good budget calculator and I also recommend the Government of Canada budget planner.

  4. Do you want Money coaching? Financial Aid & Awards Office offers that and is open during the summer too. Set an appointment.

 

Thursday, April 28, 2022
Category
Financial Aid
MyAmbrose

Financial Aid @ Ambrose Uni

  • Financial Aid puzzle

Financial Assistance - $500 and up

One application form for multiple bursaries. Students will be

matched to a bursary or financial assistance if they

demonstrate financial need.

 

Apply online by June 1

Email notifications sent out by early July

Questions? Contact Roxanne Poelstra

financialaid@ambrose.edu

 

Thursday, April 28, 2022
Category
Financial Aid
MyAmbrose

Ambrose Awards

  • Financial Aid money

 

Continuing Student Scholarships

- $500 and up

One application form for multiple Ambrose endowed and
annual awards for students returning to study at

Ambrose in the fall. Recipients will be notified early May.

 

Apply online by February 28: Undergrads or Seminary

Financial Assistance - $500 and up

One application form for multiple bursaries. Students will be

matched to a bursary or financial assistance if they

demonstrate financial need.

 

Apply online by June 1

Questions? Contact Roxanne Poelstra

financialaid@ambrose.edu

Thursday, April 28, 2022
Category
Financial Aid