Smart Budgeting Tips for International Students in Canada

Smart Budgeting Tips for International Students in Canada

Manmeet Kaur Manmeet Kaur
[Published 19 Jan, 2024 | 11:25 AM]
About Author - 7 min read

Let's face it – studying abroad is expensive and being an international student in Canada comes with its own set of financial challenges. Though many students who arrive in Canada look forward to studying at esteemed colleges and universities, concerns like finding reasonable accommodations and managing finances to meet education and living expenses trouble their minds.

So, if you’re planning to study in Canada, knowing how to manage your expenses is the first thing you should be concerned about. However, with smart budgeting strategies, you can manage your finances like a pro and enjoy your Canadian experience to the fullest!

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Budgeting Tips for International Students in Canada

Before anything else, it is important to make sure to know the costs of studying in Canada for international students.

Budgeting 101 involves these three steps -

Step 1: Write down your income sources and expenses categories

Step 2: Calculate your savings and build strategies to save more

Step 3: Monitor your income and expenses

Take a look at the tips that will help you in planning your budget for living expenses in Canada as an international student.

  • Craft a Budget Blueprint

First things first – create a budget. List your income sources, whether it's from part-time work, scholarships, or support from family. Next, outline your fixed expenses like tuition, accommodation, and insurance.

Assign the remaining funds to shifting expenses such as groceries, transportation, and entertainment. Use tools like budgeting apps to track and manage expenses effortlessly.

Read More Also:- Studying in Canada Costs for Indian Students

  • Finding Affordable Housing

Housing takes up a lot of space in your budget. So, set aside 25% of your budget for housing. Explore options like on-campus residences or shared accommodations to save costs, for which you have to pay in full for the year.

More private housing off-campus housing has different options and rent is typically paid monthly, but make sure to consider transportation expenses when deciding on the location.

  • Food and Groceries

You’ll be glad to know that Canadian grocery stores are a treasure trove if you’re being careful. That said, you must plan meals, create a shopping list, and go to stores or make bulk purchases to stretch your dollar. Don't forget to explore local farmers' markets for fresh produce at reasonable prices.

Off-campus students can cook their meals or share duties with friends. On campus, students can register for the meal plan - which gives you access to your college or university cafeteria for all your meals.

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  • Transportation Costs

Public transportation is your budget-friendly companion. Most Canadian cities have efficient bus and subway systems. Consider purchasing a monthly pass for unlimited rides and plan your routes strategically to minimize expenses.

Many cities even offer student rates for public transportation as well. Biking or walking are also feasible options to save money. If you choose to buy a car, plan the cost of the car, gasoline, maintenance, parking, and repairs.

  • Student Discounts

Being an international student in Canada comes with perks – student discounts! From public transportation to entertainment venues and eateries, you can flash that student ID proudly to unlock various discounts. Also, keep an eye out for special promotions and student nights for additional savings.

  • Part-Time Work

Canada allows international students who have arrived fulfilling all Canada student visa requirements from India to work part-time during their studies here. 

Part-Time Work

As a student, you have to find a way to strike a balance between academics and work and use the income wisely. Explore opportunities on campus or off campus that align with your skills and schedule.

  • Emergency Fund

Life throws curveballs, and having an emergency fund minimizes the impact. Therefore, for your safety, you must set aside a portion of your income for unexpected expenses like medical emergencies or unexpected travel. It's your financial safety net, providing peace of mind in uncertain times.

  • Financial Literacy

When it comes to managing finances in Canada as an international student, knowledge is everything. Familiarize yourself with the Canadian banking system, understand the terms of your financial statements, and explore various investment options.

Attend the financial literacy workshops or seek advice from campus resources to enhance your money management skills.

  • Holidays and Celebrations

Canada is a country that loves to celebrate, and as an international student, you may want to join in the fun. Make sure to allocate some funds for holiday expenses in your budget, and think of creative and affordable ways to celebrate. You can try organizing potluck dinners, making DIY gifts, or attending free community events to have fun without breaking the bank.

Other than these, utilities and cable and internet bills are also part of the budget plan for Canada, but their costs will vary depending on the usage.

Recent Update:

IRCC is raising the cost-of-living requirement for Canada Study Visa applications starting January 01, 2024. The new cost-of-living requirement for a single Study Visa applicant will be $20,635 (75% of LICO) - in addition to the first-year tuition fee and travel costs. The revised pricing is more than double the current cost-of-living requirement of $10,000.

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Being an international student in Canada is not an easy task but effective budgeting ensures you make the most of it without constantly worrying about your bank balance. With a well-crafted budget, smart spending habits, and a dash of financial literacy, you'll successfully navigate the Canadian financial landscape.

Planning to study in Canada in 2024? Consult with the best immigration consultants in Chandigarh, Nationwide Visas. Explore your study visa costs, get visa and documentation assistance, and help settle in Canada post-arrival for a seamless transition.

Read also on Quora:- How much funds are required to get a Canadian student visa?


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