The Really Really - How students are working to cut down their expenses

We know the struggles students face with tuition fees increasing 40%[1] in the last decade, increase in precarious work and frozen minimum wages that are far from living wages. 

In trying to help students succeed within this challenging environment, Strive has been identifying and sharing strategies students are using to manage their money and achieve their goals.  We hosted Finesse Your Finances at York University and gathered great insights into what students are doing today to set themselves up for success.

At the top of the list, students are working hard to eliminate and reduce their expenses.  Some are living at home or sharing apartments to manage housing costs.  Many are cycling and using public transit to cut down on driving and uber fees and a great number are working on trimming high food expenses by packing lunches and snacks from home, limiting take out and restaurant meals.

Students also highlighted their efforts to cut out things that aren’t necessities and share everything from clothes to books.  When purchases are necessary, many are buying 2nd hand via sites like letgo, kijiji, craig’s list, and facebook marketplace, selling what they no longer use or need, price matching and even negotiating. 

Given the high costs of education, students are consciously and intentionally working to manage their money, reduce their expenses and budget.  These are great skills that will provide a lifetime of benefits.  It makes me imagine how our society could thrive if we could pair these skills with a job market that offers living wages, benefits, stable income and career growth. 

[1] Cain, Patrick.  “University tuition fees in Canada rise 40 percent in a decade”.  Global News, 7 Sept. 2016, Retrieved November 1, 2018 from