As a student, saving money is important as we wait for Canada to catch up with the whole affordable education thing. Some people have a month off during the winter break, which is a dangerous time for everyone’s bank accounts. I admit that this post comes too late to help me and my bone-chilling credit card bill, but it is not too late to save all you innocent cash-strapped students. Take these tips into consideration and you’ll find yourself saving a whole lot of dollars this winter break!
Opt for Potlucks Instead of Restaurants
If I’m being honest with myself, 90% of my monthly expenses go towards food because I seriously love good food way too much. During winter holidays, my friends who I haven’t seen in months always want to go for dinner. Always going out to eat really adds up, especially if you’re as popular as I am! Instead of saying yes to all their invitations, suggest that you have a holiday potluck to save the funds. While opting for cheap eats is an option, a potluck is more fun because you get to sample a number of plates with friends for the price of only having to make one dish!
Don’t Give into Consumerism
I celebrate Christmas, and a typical Christmas celebration involves gifting your friends and family unnecessary things they don’t really want or need. If you celebrate Christmas, keep in mind that you don’t have to drop your whole paycheck on bourgeois candles for each of your friends. My friends and I instead do a fun activity together (see my first tip) or only ask for practical gifts. My best friend buys me deodorant and shampoo every year and it’s the most useful gift I receive!
Frequent a Library, Not a Cafe
Whenever I want to get some serious writing down, be it essays, poetry, or blog posts, I head to a cafe. You think that spending a few dollars on caffeinated drinks is nothing, but if you do that a few times a week it will slowly but surely start to drain the life out of your bank account. Toronto is home to numerous libraries and study spaces with just as nice an aesthetic as your neighbourhood indie cafe, one of those being Ryerson’s own Student Learning Centre. Next time you want to read or write in peace, cozy down into a public library and your bank account will thank you.
Don’t Buy Bottled Water
Ryerson is a water bottle-free campus but I’m always surprised by how many plastic water bottles I see in class. Tap water is essentially the same thing, except that it is FREE. It costs a lot less to invest in a reusable water bottle than buy bottled water every day, not to mention a lot better for the environment.
Take Advantage of Free Entertainment
You don’t always need to pay to have fun in the city. Soak up some culture this winter break by visiting the likes of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, or Aga Khan Museum which all have free days for both the general public and students. While it’s not free, be aware that some movie theatres are half price on Tuesdays, which is always a welcome discount for a broke student! But if taking this saving money thing seriously, you can always have a fun movie night in with your friends, as long as somebody brings popcorn.
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