Over the years, Canada has been the hotspot for education for international students. The variety of courses provided by the colleges and universities across Canada is the reason. Although relocating to a new country and the potential for a prosperous future may appear appealing, it is not without its struggles. These young students who come to Canada to study are likely to be leaving their homes for the first time. As a result, handling everything, particularly financially, is difficult for them. Living on your own, completing the coursework, and prospering in a fresh new social environment are all hurdles that students face regularly. As an international student, these difficulties are amplified: you’re not only away from home but also in a foreign country! On top of that, managing your finances may be difficult, so here are some valuable tips to help them break it down and make it simple with some budgeting ideas. So, how to save money as an international student in Canada?
Every international student should think about budgeting while studying abroad. It’s critical to discover your expenses and ways to decrease or cut them, such as the cost of your overseas tuition, accommodations, and other costs. The cost of studying abroad should not be the deciding factor. International students can budget and save money in a variety of ways. You will have less to worry about if you follow these techniques and will be able to enjoy your stay abroad.
Save Money Using Student Discounts
Being a student here in Canada, or Toronto has its perks. Several student discounts are available with your student id card. This can include everything from discounts on meals and transportation to attractions and shop promotions. Although not all establishments advertise that they accept student cards, many certainly do. Carry your student id with you wherever you go, and inquire if they accept student cards before making a transaction. Although it may appear to be a tiny quantity, it can quickly build up to a significant number. Some attractions may even be free for students, saving you anywhere from C$15 to C$60. Again, this is something you’ll have to confirm with the company directly because it depends entirely on the attraction.
The TTC has its special student transit passes, which are available at a discounted rate when it comes to transportation. This enables the students to use the public transport across GTA without thinking about the expenses. One can learn more about that here.
Bonus Tip: Aside from your student ID, you can buy other discount cards, such as the SPC card, that will provide you with even more savings. This loyalty card entitles students to immediate discounts ranging from 10% to 20% at thousands of retailers and restaurants across Canada. This way students can save a lot of money which will go a long way.
Live with Roommates to Save Money
A single apartment may be rather costly when it comes to rent, utilities, and food. Depending on where you want to study and what kind of housing you want, you may pay anywhere from C$800 to C$1,500 or more, not including utilities.
It’s ideal to live with other students on a budget to distribute additional expenditures fairly. If you don’t have any pals, you may look for a shared house on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji. Rent is a major expense for any student, thus sharing accommodation with a few roommates initially is a good place to start. That is how you save money in Canada as an international student initially.
Bonus Tip: There are quite a few student housing accommodations around GTA, where the rent is around $550 – $750 depending on the type of room. Here is one such place. This is one of the best ways to connect and meet new people in a new city.
Search for the Money Saving Deals
This might be one of the simplest methods to keep track of your expenditures. There are very many tools available to help you find the greatest discounts. Used and new furniture, frames, materials, and books may be found on Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace. You might also look for secondhand books, rentals, or deals on Amazon. When students finish a course, they frequently sell their books. They’ll advertise the book’s kind, price, and contact information on Facebook or by posting fliers around campus. Because textbooks can be expensive, you should try to avoid paying full price if at all possible.
Bonus Tip: Shopping for Canada-specific clothes like winter jackets or winter shoes can be very expensive. You can always go to stores like Winners and Mark’s which offer great deals on these clothing items. Moreover, there are quite a few thrift stores around the city which offer a wide array of clothing at a rock-bottom price.
Budgeting To Manage Your Income
Budgeting is one of the most critical components of studying abroad. It’s critical for students to be cognizant of their finances and spending habits, and this is especially true when they’re distant from home and their typical support system.
The first step in making a budget is to sit down and make a detailed list of your income and expenses. To begin, make a list of all of your income sources, including scholarships, loans, money from your parents or part-time employment, savings, and GIC. After that, you’ll need to figure out how much money you’ll need. Make a note of all your fixed expenses, including tuition, rent, utilities, and phone bills, as well as when they are due. Then add in sporadic expenditures like books and course supplies. Finally, you must include in your ongoing costs, such as meals and entertainment. Using a student budgeting spreadsheet or a tool like Excel, it’s a good idea to keep track of all your spending for two to four weeks.
Bonus Tip: Hey, if you are not too savvy with spreadsheets, here are some apps for you which can help with all your budgeting needs and they are free! Check out KOHO and MINT.
Relax every once in a while
However, always remembers one thing as much as saving money is important, it is also very important to relax or enjoy yourself every once in a while. It is crucial that you do not cut yourself off completely from worldly pleasures in process of saving more money. Students who spend all of their time workings can rapidly burn out. Instead make a monthly budget for something fun, such as a night out with friends or a larger adventure. There are a lot of ways to save money in Canada as an international student but that should not come in the way of living life.
One last thing, it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. Make an effort to save away some “just in case” money to be utilized in the event of an emergency. Incidents like computer crashes or mobile repairs can happen at any time, so it’s always a good idea to have some cash in hand just in case. If you don’t use it, you’ll save money that you can put towards something else later.
— Author: Souradeep Mondal
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