Let’s talk Finances: Tuition and Housing

piggy bankWhether this is your first or last semester, it’s a good idea to take a moment aside to make sure your bank accounts are in good shape.

With undergraduate tuition hovering at an annual amount of $4k for IP, $9k for OOP, and $37k for Int’l and inflating ~1% every year, fees can really cause a headache. While an aspirin does wonders for all sorts of bodily pain, it won’t heal the wallet. Here I will cover some (highly) experimental and theoretical ways to achieve a state of financial awesomeness.

I came to McGill as an Out-of-Province Canadian student and lived in rez. I got slapped with a bill which was 9k in tuition and 12k in housing. I had rarely spent any money before and I was shocked by how much university costs. I didn’t want to burden my parents or end up with tons of student debt, so I began my quest for the fee-less education.

Housing prices are ridiculous in downtown, with monthly rents averaging 1k+ at McGill residences, and 800 in the ghetto and west of campus. Roommates are the quickest solution, add one to your dwelling and you pay half the rent, add two and you only pay a third! But no, unless you spend all your days and night in the library, having too many roommates seriously impacts privacy and bathroom wait times.¬†Generally an apartment costs 1.5 times more if you get an extra bedroom. Simply put a roomie in the second room and you can trim down your housing fees to 75% (since there is enough room, you can avoid up to 100% of interactions and feel like you’re living alone). If you’re cool with commuting, consider moving to another place near a green line metro station. It’s to find the same quality housing as downtown for around half the price. Did I mention stacking roomie with commuting means it’s possible live in comfort for a conservative and nerdy estimate of:

downtown price (1k/month) x roomie advantage (0.75) x commuting bonus (0.5) = less than 400/month!

I mentioned that I rarely spent money before, because I didn’t get allowances from my parents. They had wisely put my pocket money safely away in an RESP, which is what I now use to cover pretty much all my day-to-day expenses. While it’s a little too late for your parents to invest in an RESP for you, it is one of the best investments you could make to your future children.

A full piggy bank is a happy piggy bank. Until next time!

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