Ugg season is on its way and with it comes my battle to yet again face the reality that I’m a broke-ass student. It’s not that I don’t work hard, I’m in full time university and work two jobs to pay my way through school, but sometimes the fight to stay out of debt really just pisses me off.
If I were to work 20 hours a week (4 hours over the recommended time as per Health Canada/Education Quebec) I would make approximately $800.00 a month. While this is more than sufficient for someone living at home, it does not take into account my rent (450.00), hydro (50.00), phone/internet (100) or food (200). My basic expenses would only just be covered by my paychecks. There would be no room for calling in sick, no time that I could take off during exams, no place for any expenses such as school fees and books, or even hygiene products for that matter. I will work hard to be able to continue my education, but I’d like to be able to brush my teeth and own winter boots if you don’t mind!
Fear not! There are still some tips on being frugal throughout the school season.
- A simple Facebook status about what books I needed helped me find out who I knew who had taken the class and had the books for me to borrow.
- Student Unions often have not-for-profit book exchanges (often far less expensive than the University’s used book section).
- Speak with your professor during the intro, some teachers only use the books for practice questions or as supplementary to course material and you can photocopy applicable pages from the library for pennies on the dollar.
- Student Unions are hopping on the healthy eating bandwagon. Concordia has a non-partisan vegan soup kitchen (the People’s Potato) serving more than 400 meals daily, all you need to bring is your tupperware!
- Certain Provigo locations offer student days (normally Mondays) where the presentation of a student ID card gets you 10% off most things on your bill.
- Throw a potluck! Most of my favorite nights are when my friend Karl has a bunch of us over, we all chip in a couple of dollars, BYOB, great food, great time and drunk Jenga.
- Sign up for Groupon, LivingSocial and Teambuy. These have been my lifesavers with everything from water skiing to dinner for two at Onoir. You might get 1-2 emails from each a day, but you already waste enough time staring at a screen, might as well browse and make it work for you.
For all material needs, my suggestion of the week is to check out your local Zellers. Target has bought out the retail giant and is liquidating stores in preparation for rebranding.
Peace, Love & Happy Consumerism!
PS: Maybe you aren’t a student, but just unemployed. Then this is for you.