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.

Do you have a frugal tip that is not on our Cheap Sheet? Send us your feedback and it may be added to our list!

Cheap Sheet for Students on Paid Internships, Placements, and Practicums

Do you have an opportunity to earn while you learn? We’ve compiled a list of practical tips for how to manage a full-time income during your upcoming internship, COOP placement or industrial practicum: PDF icon Cheap Sheet for Students going on IP

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 frugal, 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.

Eat for less

  • Bring a grocery list with you when you shop for food. It will help keep you on track and help you recognize when you are tempted to buy unnecessary things.
  • Watch for specials!
  • Avoid shopping at convenience stores because their prices are generally higher.
  • Consider buying generic products rather than the brand name.
  • Pack your lunch instead of eating out. You will be surprised at how quickly those take-out 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! There are lots of events and festivals offered throughout the year with little to no cost.

Cut utility costs

  • Prioritize your entertainment expenses. Do you really need multiple streaming services? Ask for student specials and discounts. 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. Use email or web-based apps to stay connected for less.


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