Tips 'n tricks to cut your costs

Cheap Sheet

Having trouble living within your budget? Hoping to keep your debt load as low as possible?

Check out our PDF icon Cheap Sheet  - a list of Montreal and McGill resources for lean and mean budgets - compiled by our Financial Aid Counsellors and your fellow students.

Holiday Cheap Sheet

Staying in Montreal for the holidays?

We have put together a special PDF icon Holiday Cheap Sheet for you with a list of free, fun and festive things to do in Montreal during the holiday period!


Money-saving strategies

Here are more useful tips to help you live like a Frugal Scholar:

Get informed

  • Consult the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) website for information on a variety of financial products and services, as well as your rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions.
  • Choose your bank carefully; each one has its own student service package that could save - or cost - you money.

Shop smart

  • Always comparison shop. From apartments and furniture to books and clothing, saving a few pennies here and there adds up.
  • Consider buying used - the McGill University Bookstore for example, offers reduced prices on used textbooks and rentals. You can also find great deals on all kinds of items in the McGill classifieds.
  • Try to resist using your credit card for impulse buying. You will avoid high interest charges and monthly payments that might not fit into your budget.

Eat for less

  • Bring a grocery list with you when you shop for food. It will help keep you on track and recognize when you are buying unnecessary things.
  • Watch for specials! Grocery Alerts Canada posts Canadian coupons and shows the best grocery flyer deals to use with coupons to maximize the most savings on groceries.
  • Try to avoid doing too much shopping at convenience stores because their prices are generally higher.
  • Consider buying generic products rather those with a brand name.
  • Bring your lunch with you to school instead of eating out. You will be surprised at how quickly those meals add up!

Change your habits

  • Reduce daily habits that seem insignificant but can add up to big spending in the long run. Buying a $3 coffee every day can cost over $1000 over the course of a year!
  • Take public transportation, carpool, cycle or walk as much as possible to save on transportation costs.
  • Seek out free entertainment in Montreal!

Cut utility costs

  • Prioritize your entertainment expenses i.e. do you really need cable TV? Ask for student specials on entrance fees and use coupons from student newspapers. Enjoy free activities on campus.
  • Beware of mounting cell phone costs. Familiarize yourself with the true cost of a cell phone plan to see if you can afford it before signing the contract.
  • Long distance phone calls can be expensive. Try setting a timer to limit your calls to a certain length of time. Use email or online chatting to stay connected for less money.