There are about as many different types of living arrangements as there are types of students and there are lots of ways for you to reduce your costs of living.
Living at home — The easiest way to cut down on your living expenses is to live at home with your parents. Even though you are living at home, you may still want to budget for things like cellphone bills, parking, food and entertainment. Have a discussion with your parents about what they will and won’t pay for and be sure to budget for any shortfall.
For those students who can’t live at home, there are lots of different living arrangements to consider.
Living in residence — The costs of living in Residence can vary greatly, depending on the type of room you want and the number of people you are willing to live with. Residence is a good deal, when you take into account the amount of money you save by not having to pay to commute to campus and for utilities.
Living with a roommate — A lot of students choose to find their own accommodations off campus. You can help keep your costs low by living closer to campus to reduce commuting costs. Try to find a place with the utilities included so you don’t have a nasty surprise when you get your winter heating bill, keep the luxuries to a minimum. Rent and utility prices vary greatly across the city. You can find notices on bulletin boards all over campus for people looking for roommates, so keep an eye out, or you may want to check out the Students’ Association’s off-campus housing list.
Room and board — If you hate to cook and wish that somebody would do it for you, a room and board arrangement just might work for you. Some community members open their homes to students and offer to prepare meals and take care of the property for an additional cost. If you do make arrangements for room and board, you may pay a little more, but you may save money in the long-run if you end up eating out less. There are lots of housing lists in Calgary, and also listings for Mount Royal students posted on the off-campus housing list.
Living on your own — Living on your own is an expensive prospect for almost everybody in Calgary. Not only is rent higher, but you will also be solely responsible for things like paying utility hook-up fees and damage deposits. However, if you know you really want to live alone, there are a few things to keep in mind to help you cut costs. You may not need both a home phone and a cell phone. Living further away from school may cut the rental costs, but may cost you in commuting expenses, so don’t forget your bus pass! There are lots of housing lists in Calgary, and also listings for Mount Royal students posted on the off-campus housing lists.
Using public transportation (U-Pass)
Using your own vehicle
The costs associated with using your own vehicle will likely include:
The Mount Royal C-Choices program encourages students, faculty and staff to use alternate forms of transportation to get themselves to campus.
Not only can you help the environment and save on commuting costs, but Mount Royal offers support to C-Choice participants who:
How much you spend on groceries and eating out is difficult to predict. You may want to talk to your parents about how much they think they spend on food for you. Remember to budget for eating out if you know you’re going to eat out a lot.
Your food budget will be based on a number of factors, including:
Top 5 Tips for saving money on food
Depending on your medical coverage, you may not qualify to have 100% of your costs covered by insurance. If you have recurring medical costs that aren’t completely covered by insurance, be sure to budget for those expenses.
The cost of Extended Medical and Dental Insurance is included in the tuition fees charged to full-time students.
There are also some miscellaneous expenses that may not have been covered in the major categories above. While they don’t represent a large percentage of your living expenses, those costs will certainly add up over time if you don’t set aside some money for these regular expenditures.
Many Mount Royal students have children and must also budget for child care.