Applicant #6: Jaimie Van Ham

Jaimie is a 23-year-old from Bow Island.

Jaimie's video application:

Jaimie online:

+ Facebook page

Jaimie's current situation:

I just graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a BA/B.Ed in English and Social Studies.

I am creative and outgoing and this job is perfect for me! I started my education in Journalism and Film Studies, and still enjoy those things.

I love to meet people and am excited to learn new things!

Jaimie's blog post:

It is that time of year again; every other day I, like many of you, have been finding two or three e-mails from Canada and Alberta Student Loans reminding me that I am reaching the end of my studies for another year and must either let them know that I am continuing on in school next year or begin paying off the monstrous amount of money that has made those studies possible.

Student loans are a part of life for many students, but it is important to keep the amount of those loans as low as possible so when we are finished school our mountain of debt is in the Mount St. Helens medium range instead of the Mount Everest gigantic-to-the-point-of-disbelief range. There are several ways to do this that don’t include the painful and illegal sale of a kidney or other body parts (Which is a horrible idea and you should NOT under any circumstances even consider it as a possibility).

1. Make a Budget. This is one I have a bit of trouble with, but it’s important to always know where your money is going. Budget for the important things first: tuition, rent, food, phone bills, car insurance etc. then add in the other things, like entertainment, clothes, and a daily dose of Double-Doubles. Once you see where your money is going it is easier to cut stuff out and save a little here and there.

2. Hunt for Deals. My grandma had it right; there are savings to be found in those store flyers that are constantly being shoved into your mailbox. By putting in a little effort and cutting out coupons you can save on everything from groceries to electronics. Who doesn’t want that? Also, check out the great online savings on sites like dealfind.com or groupon.com to find crazy deals on all kinds of things (including textbooks!).

3. Pay Bills on Time. Interest charges can be as high as 21% (Yikes!) so you want to clear up any bills by their due date. This is one of those things that sneaks up so I use a calendar to help me keep track of when things are due.

4. Get a Young & Free Account. If you are 17-25 you can do all the banking you want for free. Accounts from banks can cost anywhere from $8-$12 per month; add that up and it is anywhere from $96 to $144 yearly. That is a lot of money going nowhere, especially when you have a free option that gives you even better service.

So, if you are like me and have been getting those ‘friendly’ reminders about the incredible amount of debt you are accruing so that you can pay your way through school, keep in mind that it is possible to make it a smaller obstacle in the future by doing some simple things right now that don’t affect your quality of life all that much.

Jaimie