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Finding the balance in the cost of living

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Before starting school, it is very important to get a clear idea of how much it will affect your pocket. Student life is fun, yet incredibly challenging, and one way of keeping a check on expenses is by sticking to a fixed budget. The first couple of weeks of living completely independently involve learning about what you need, and how much you need. Because of that, there’s a chance that you buy too much, or too little.

In fact, when it comes to food, it’s not only about buying or not buying enough, but also about being able to take the time to cook it. Students often end up eating out, which costs even more money. Healthy eating requires patience and determination, and no amount of money can buy those. Since you may be sharing your place with roommates, it is always better to have clear terms of splitting expenditures among them right from the beginning, as otherwise it leads to awkward situations. Having your friendship strained over money is totally not worth it.

Living off campus comes with its own perks but, unlike living on campus, you have to pay rent monthly. Generally, basement suites are a lot cheaper than renting an apartment. Furnishing the whole place on your own is a bit of a headache, and it gets even worse if you are new to the city. It’s always best to ask someone who has lived in the area for some time. They might have something affordable and in a good condition that they want to part with, or may know where the best place to look is. But the idea of being your own interior designer, and making all those fantasies for your personal room come true, will surely brighten your mood.

Having a lean budget does not leave much to spend on clothing and footwear, and it might get difficult coping with the harsh weather without appropriate clothing. So, quite obviously, shopping must be done on weekends, and looking for sales will save you a whole lot of money. Thrift stores always come in handy for doing furniture shopping.

In addition to Craigslist, Kijiji, etc., a new online platform for buying and selling things that is becoming more useful is Facebook Marketplace, where you can find some pretty amazing deals. But, bear in mind that if you’re not planning to live somewhere long term, buying a lot of furniture will be an issue in the future when you want to move out, so only buy items that are immediately required.

There is no doubt that having a job helps in maintaining a steady cash flow. Normally, the weekly class schedule leaves you with a considerable amount of time which, if utilized in an appropriate manner, can have positive impacts beyond just the income. One gets to learn a lot of important skills and gain experience, not to mention the connections they can lead to.

Cost of living as a student is not just a quantitative figure that you try your best not to cross every week, but do eventually. It tests you, and teaches you how to act maturely. The name of the game is balance and self control. Once you get a hold of those two elements, you’ll figure out everything.  

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