Photo cred - Maxime Desjardins Tremblay

Okay I’m just going to come out and say it. We’re BROKE here in Montreal. We are poor, poor, poor, Like we don’t even have two dimes to rub together anymore. Granted, the majority of people I know are students, but that doesn’t mean we don’t take up a sizeable chunk of the population. Because we do.

Now before I go on, I’d like to get a few things straight. In no way do I believe that Montreal is entirely to blame for the financial ineptitude of its residents. A big part of this problem is that a lot of young people don’t know how to budget. Obliviously it’s going to be disastrous when you leave people to look after their own finances who have no idea what the real value of a dollar is. It’s an embarrassing lesson people have had learn, most of the time unknown to the people who are subsidizing them.

But the reason Montreal has been making us all broke, is because it is unusually plentiful on the products and services students waste most of their money on. Food and drink being the biggest contributing factor. In an infograph regarding colleges in the U. S of A, students spent about 11 billion on snacks and beverages, and 5 billion on alcohol alone. This infograph included colleges like Ohio, Georgia and Florida State Universities. No offense to all you ‘Mericans out there, but you have to admit that Montreal takes the cultural upper hand to Cincinnati. So, just think that if students from places with not nearly as many restaurants and bars (plus they’re not even legal until they’re 21) are spending that much money on food and drink, how much are we spending?

On top of Montreal’s restaurant culture, it also encourages other poor student spending habits like shopping for clothes they don’t need, cab rides and attending expensive events. I also feel like Montreal’s culture adds to the pressure of student travel. Because everyone from here is from somewhere else originally, it promotes the idea of travel. While being a wayfarer is super fun and educational., it can also be expensive and cause students to go on trips they don’t have money for.

Photo cred - Just Ard

All in all, it’s not the surface things like rent and tuition that make Montreal an expensive place to live, it’s the culture! And while it can be immensely unfortunate to look at your bank account after a week in Montreal, the experience of living here is priceless.

However if you are stressed about your finances, we have some things to help smooth the process along.

1. Part Time Job Offers

2. A Beginners Guide To Budgeting

3. Student Life Hack To Spend Less.

Happy saving Montreal!

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