There is a regular expense that you will incur as a student once you come to Canada after the high initial investment that you make in the first month. This blog will give you an estimate as to how much expenses you will have to bear as a student on a monthly basis. The main and most important expense will be on accommodation in Canada and this cost will have to be incurred each month. This will depend on multiple factors such as the size of the room, living room, size of the kitchen, the closet size, whether the room is furnished or unfurnished, the utilities, the internet etc will be added costs and this will vary depending on the location. The location of the place, whether it’s close to downtown or far away from it will structure out how the monthly expenses will turn out.
The location of the apartment close to core downtown will turn out to be more expensive as compared to the suburban regions. As you move further away from downtown the cost of the rent will keep decreasing. Sharing a room will cut the monthly expense by almost half but if you choose to get an independent room then the expense will be almost double. On average students are paying $250-$700 for the room. Living in the suburbs will cost you around $250 and living downtown will cost anywhere between $700-$900 . This is the average cost and the final cost might be more or less than this figure on average.
This expense will depend on the diet that you eat. If you are non vegetarian then the expense will be relatively higher. It also depends on where you buy the grocery from. If you purchase it from places such as The Real Canadian Superstore, Costco or Walmart Super-centre then you can expect to pay less than if you choose a local grocery or convenience store in the neighbourhood. There are cases where some students spend around $70-80 and some who spend higher close to $150. So the average monthly expense will be around $70-150. If you like many fruits and vegetables then the expenses tend to be higher.
If you commute to college or want to travel for leisure purposes then you will need to use the transit system for that. If you are studying at a college in a smaller city then the cost of the transportation will be included in the college fees itself. In a big city like Toronto for example there is a card called the Presto card and the expense for that is around $120. Smaller cities like Thunderbay, London, Scarborough etc have smaller colleges and the cost for the transportation will be included in the fees.
Another way to get around the city is the Uber ride. The rides are usually expensive and they cost around $10-15 for one way and this might be hard on the wallet as a student. The average transportation cost will be from $0-$150 where it could be $0 for a smaller city and $150 for a larger metropolis.
Some students can work out their schedule in only $25 but some students can work out their phone connection for $120-$130 as for monthly expenses. Usually what happens is that when a student comes to Canada they look for phone plans and the store salesman usually shows them premium plans which are expensive at around $70-$80 in which there is unlimited calling and messaging with around 4-5 GB of data. The salesmen usually pitch that if you add $20-$30 over the phone bill you will get a new phone like the latest iPhone or Samsung S-20, S-23 or S-24. This phone addiction will take the total to $120-$130 along with insurance and the tax.
Many students bring their phone that they use in their home country and continue using it in Canada as well until they are financially stable and areable to purchase a new phone. If you do not go for a new phone and just take the plan the total expense will be around $25-$40 per month. Going for a plan without the data and only using features like calling and messaging will cost you around $25 per month on average. Taking the data will take the bill to $45. Most of the public places and universities usually have wifi available so using data is not necessary in most places. Places like Walmart, Tim Hortons, Subway, colleges, homes and other places mostly have wifi. On average the phone connection will cost around $40-$60.
Dining out and shopping Expenses
Going for expensive branded clothing will add to the total monthly expenditure. The more you eat outside the house the more you will have to pay each month. There could also be certain illnesses that can be caused by eating outside food on a regular basis. As a student it’s important to take care of health as it will be necessary to be working and attending college as a student. Many students also like shopping but make sure that you have a budget for shopping each month and do not cross that budget. Extra shopping will only be considered a want and not a need. It’s important to focus on what is needed since winter clothing itself will be quite expensive as compared to summer clothing. On average students are spending $80-90 per month on shopping but if the budget can be brought between $50-60 then the expenses can be managed well. Mostly students eat out for $80-90 and shop for the same amount as well. On average the monthly expenses in Canada is around $150-$200 when it comes to eating out and shopping.
Accommodation – $250-700
Phone connection $25-$120
Shopping and dining out $150-$250
The total monthly expenses will be around $700-$1300 depending on the lifestyle that you wish to lead.
If you do plan to purchase a car then you will have to pay extra and get another job as well since the expenses will be quite high. Owning a car coupled with insurance, gas and EMI will be around $600 per month. This again depends on the individual requirements. Some students even decide to spend their time instead to build various skills instead of a car purchase.
Students prefer to share the accommodation and split the cost amongst themselves. There are students paying $230 on average for a shared room and this cost can be as high as $500-$700. For example a house can have 6 people and the total rent can be $1400 and dividing that by 6 gives you $233 per month which is highly affordable. A house with 6 people will typically have 4 rooms, 3 bathrooms or around that number. Sometimes the grocery cost between 6 people can be around $600. The utilities and internet costs can be around $50 per month on average. The expense in the GTA region will be more than other regions in Toronto since living close to the city will always turn out to be more expensive.
Students are only allowed to work 20 hours per week and if you do the equation for the monthly expenses then you can look to earn 204weeks$14 which equals $1120 before the taxes. It’s hard to get good savings in a big city due to which students take up extra work. In the smaller city you do not need to work as much since the monthly expenses will not exceed $700. There are other expenses that one tends to have as a student such as the monthly Netflix expenses, game subscriptions and others that can add to the monthly expenses.
Again it all depends on the individual needs and requirements. As mentioned in the above sections the expenses can vary depending on the location and the personal wants in terms of phones, clothing, dining out and more. The average expenses have been mentioned and this includes the lower end to the higher end. As a student it would be beneficial to look into these numbers and see where one fits in terms of the range.