If money tends to be a major topic on your mind then you are not alone. When I first came to York I remember having to convert Canadian prices into my home currency either to see if it was worth the buy or just to know what the difference in prices between Nigeria and Canada (this quickly became a burden, so I stopped).
If this is your first time living on your own away from home, you may realize that everything just seems to drain your cash reserves. Books and school supplies, food (this is a big drain), transportation, clothes and laundry, a social life (another big drainer if you don’t keep an eye on it). Sometimes it feels like every day you step outside your house money has to be spent.
This is no news to us who have lived away from home for a while. A trick I like to use is to cut costs and not just avoid spending.
An average monthly budget might look like this;
|Health Care Plan||$200 per year|
|Books and Supplies||$1,000 -$1,500 per year|
( MEAL PLAN) $700 (EATING OUT)
|Housing Costs: Renting||$450 -$800 per month|
|Housing Costs: Residence||$5000 per 8 months|
If you intend to cut down on costs here are some tips:
1. Books are a big expense so using the library when you can will save money. Buying used books is also a great way to save.
2. Learning to cook is an excellent way to save money: look at the difference between “home cooking” and “eating out.” By learning to cook you could also learn about new cuisine and cultures.
3. To save money on entertainment, you could go to events on campus organized by the YFS (York Federation of Students) or York International, there is always free stuff available especially free food, YUM!
4. Be on the Lookout for discounts and seasonal sales
At first it can be a challenge staying on top of budgeting but with time you will get better. You may even become a personal financial manager in your own right!!
A bank account will come in handy to put all the money you will be saving. Here is a list of major banks in Canada:
- Bank of Montreal (BMO usually pronounced as bee- mo)- it is located on campus
- TD Canada Trust
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
- HSBC Canada
- Scotia Bank
Tip: Scotia Bank, RBC, TD Canada trust and BMO all have Automatic Bank Machines (ABM’s) on campus
A few things to consider when choosing a bank:
- Compare different banks to see which has the best options
- Keep an eye on BANKING FEES
- Look out for student banking plans (they usually have cheaper banking fees)