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Monthly expenses for International Students in Canada

Having adequate knowledge about what your monthly expenses in Canada will be like is very important in planning your travel over there. An affordable monthly expense really dictates how much of an easy experience your study in Canada will be. As international students, you need to know what your monthly expenses will look like so you can budget accordingly.

We have a list of things that constitute your monthly expenses and we will be discussing them in this post.


1. Groceries

You can set a monthly budget for these to be $350. We chose $350 because you can prepare lunch from this amount, and that way you don’t have to purchase meals at your cafeteria or outside. You can buy your groceries at Safeway, Walmart or Costco but Costco is membership based but still worth it because you can buy it in bulk and then if you’re living with someone, you could come together and pay for the membership and purchase your groceries per month.

2. Rent

In Edmonton for instance, if you’re renting a shared accommodation you are looking at around $400 per month per person in the room or if you’re looking for a room by yourself in a house or if you’re renting a house with your friends and you have your own room, you’re looking at an average of $675 per month and we would suggest you seek accommodation that includes everything like heat, water, Wi-Fi, laundry, that way you don’t have to worry about spending extra money on those utilities.

3. Transportation

For instance, in Edmonton, bus passes $97 but student passes cost around $88.There’s this thing in Edmonton called low-income subsidized bus pass where you can get bus passes for between $34 and $48, but for that bus pass you have to show certain documents and papers that you are indeed a low income earner. For international students who are just coming to Canada you won’t have that specific information that they’re looking for but after staying there for a year, you will file your taxes and then you’ll get that piece of paper in your mail and then you take it to specific places to get the bus passes.

4. Entertainment

As they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. As a student, entertainment is also an important aspect of life and you’re not going to spend money every month on entertainment but once or twice every other month you’re probably going to want to see a movie or you would probably want to go to the recreational center, go-karting. It is important to also budget for that a little bit we would put the budget for that at around $80. It could be less but it all depends on what your type of fun is. First of all, as a student you’re not going to always have time to see a movie, but budget for that at around $80.

5. Mobile plan

If you are moving to Canada with your own phone, you could just buy a SIM card from Chatr. They are for $50 and you get 8 gigabytes of data. If you’re not moving to Canada with a phone, you would have to get a phone plan which you would have to be paying for the phone and your monthly plan. That would be around $65.

Putting it all together, there’s grocery for $350, there is transportation for $97 there is rent for an average of $675, there is entertainment for $80 and then there are mobile plans for $65. You would be looking at around $1,267 monthly.

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