Humber College student Kailey Ashcroft limits her weekly spending to $50.
The second-year broadcast student lives on residence and does not go out much.
Bhavjit Saini, 18, a Humber business student, also limits his weekly spending to $50.
It is part of the tight-budgeting students live with as Ontario students have the highest average debt load.
The Canadian Federation of Students website says Ontario post-secondary students average more than $28,000.
Ashcroft, 20, says she has to pay for groceries and hard drives as required for her program. Other than that, she says she pays for school through an account her parents had set up for her.
Saini, says he pays for school mostly with OSAP. In addition to paying for tuition fees and textbooks, Saini’s financial struggles are compounded because he uses the bus as a way of commuting and is also responsible of taking care of his 10-year-old brother.
Saini uses the bus as a way of commuting. He says he has a younger brother, 10, he is responsible of taking care of.
Sania Ashrf, 23, is also a business student in her third year at Humber. She pays for school with OSAP.
Ashrf says paying for textbooks and parking is what worries her the most each year school starts. She does not buy a parking pass so she says she has to accommodate for paying every day, for gas and also lunch.
She works part-time at Popeyes as a manager and helps her family at home which she says she finds challenging.
Holsee Sahid, manager of financial aid at Humber, has some tips for students on budgeting and making way for debt once graduated.
“Keep track of their spending,” she says as a tip for students.
She says most students will visit her in November with OSAP concerns and wondering where or when their money will be coming in.
Sahid also says it is a good idea for students to research all of their options.
Though she says she advocates for students to have a financial plan each year, she also says there are ways of coping with your OSAP debt. Students can visit the financial aid department at Humber to pick up some handouts with helpful hints or look online.