How to Budget on an Apprenticeship

IMG_0084 cropped

In order to complete your apprenticeship training, you will be required to take time away from work. There are a number of ways to supplement your income during this time. It is important to have a plan in place before you begin your program.


Managing your Money

You will need to purchase either books or modules and other items for class. Do not buy modules ahead of time as they may be outdated by the time you attend classes, and they cannot be returned to the bookstore.

It is a good idea to map out your monthly expenses so you can budget effectively while in training. Here are some of the most common expenses:

  • Rent or mortgage including property tax
  • Utilities (power, water, heating, telephone, internet, cable)
  • Food, clothing and personal care
  • Transportation (transit pass, car payments, insurance, gas, parking)
  • Child support payments
  • Current debts

School expenses (tuition, books, mandatory fees and supplies)

 Sample tuition fees for apprentices

8-week Tuition Only: $933.28
Ancillary Fees – College: $98.84
Ancillary Fees – Student Association: $33.36
Health and Dental: N/A
Total Tuition: $1,065.48


Student Indebtedness Policy

Indebtedness to any educational institution may result in:

  • Cancellation of registration
  • Not able to register in further courses
  • Withholding of student loan funding
  • Withholding of refunds


Reduce Expenses

  • Read community listings for free events
  • Cook meals and bring lunch to school
  • Create a meal plan and shop for groceries for the week
  • Take transit instead of driving
  • Have roommates and split the rent
  • Shop in stores that have student discounts



  • Track spending for the first month and adjust accordingly
  • Rent or mortgage expenses including property tax
  • Utilities (power, water heating, telephone, internet, cable)
  • Food, clothing and personal care
  • Transportation (bus pass, car payment, insurance, gas, parking)
  • Child support payments
  • Debt load
  • School expenses (tuition, books, mandatory fees and supplies)
  • Apply for bursaries and grants


Staying on Track

  • Get rid of your credit cards
  • Use cash or debit for everything
  • Pay all bills when money comes in (even if this means paying early)


Employment Insurance

Unlike other post-secondary students, an apprentice has the benefit of being able to collect Employment Insurance while attending technical training.

Apply online up to seven days prior to the scheduled last day of work.

You will require an EI Reference Code to access the Apprentice application form. This number can be found on the Registration Confirmation you received. See Employment Insurance for apprentices.

Be aware that you may not receive Employment Insurance payments for as long as four to six weeks after you start classes. Plan to have alternative financial arrangements in place during this time.

See financial assistance section for more information


Student Line of Credit

Many financial institutions offer a Student Line of Credit for those studying at a post-secondary level.

For an apprentice, a Student Line of Credit can help you get through the time before the Employment Insurance cheques arrive. Compare government student loan versus the students line of credit from a financial institution and determine which is more suitable.


Registered Plans (RESPS, LLPS)

Check whether any of your family members have set up an Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in your name or withdraw from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) as part of a Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP).