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FROSH 2023: Financial hacks and studenting on a budget

By Reyam Jamaleddine, September 5 2023—

University isn’t cheap (obviously) but here are some ways to finesse as a baddie on a budget on campus. 


Do not ever pay full price for a textbook. Read what the required texts are for your courses in the syllabus ahead of time and prepare for your hunt. Facebook is a good place to start, as there are Facebook groups where you can buy used textbooks from students who are selling them. If you’re taking an Arts course, the author of the texts you need is typically well-known and historical, so you can thrift their books online for less than $5. Sometimes you can find free, full versions of textbooks online in PDF form (this might be piracy I’m not sure, as far as you and I are concerned if it’s on the first or second page of Google it’s fair game).v 

Your student status 

Utilize your status as a student to get discounts any and everywhere. Spotify, Amazon Prime,  Apple, Microsoft, phone and internet plans, as well as some retail locations offer student discounts. Be aware of where you can use your student status and leverage it — these discounts are available to you for a reason. 

School supplies/stationary

Buy all your cute school supplies from Dollarama. The cutest pens, notebooks, sticky notes, planners, pencil cases and every stationary item you can think of can be found at the Dollar Store for the cutest prices. 

Loans and grants

You may think that you do not need them, but you most likely do. Take out the loan from MyAlberta, and you may also be eligible for a grant, which is a sum of money that you do not need to pay back. If this is available to you, then there is no reason to not utilize it. If you are only eligible for a loan, still take advantage of it. If you don’t use your loan you can easily pay it back with no interest accumulation. Put all your loans into a high-interest savings account (ask a finance bro for the details). There is no harm in having a safety net and no harm in taking your chance on a grant.

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