In the spirit of our upcoming Financial Survival Fair, I’ve decided to share some of my own money saving tips and ideas. I consider myself to be rather frugal, though it’s kind of hard not to be as a post-secondary student largely surviving off of OSAP. As tough as this may be, it has also forced me to be much more creative in coming up with ways of saving money. As I am in my last semester here at UofT, I’ve decided to come up with a list of my favourite top 3 ways I saved or gained money throughout my undergrad:
# 3 Coupons! Every year when the hard copy of the UofT Course Timetable and Schedule is released I get excited. That’s because aside from course listings and schedules, it is filled with some of the best coupons I’ve ever seen. From buy one get one free hamburgers to free coffee, as well as plenty of discounts at the UofT Bookstore. Although it’s a bit late now to find one of these Course Timetables hanging around campus, if you do find one, you’re in luck, because most coupons don’t expire until December 2011. At the very least, you can anticipate next years Timetable, often found at your campus registrars office in late summer.
# 2 Cheap Movies! Just because we are students that doesn’t mean we live in the library (though sometimes we should – and they should consider setting up cots during exam season), we need entertainment to survive too! There’s a few options if you are looking to hit up the movie theatre for cheap. UTSU offers discounted movie tickets to students, just show up with your student card and purchase vouchers for tickets to redeem when you get to the theatre. AMC and Cineplex tickets are $8.84 + tax, and and Rainbow tickets are only $6.64 + tax. If you can’t make it to Hart House to pick up tickets in advance, Rainbow Cinema & Magic Lantern are the cheapest theaters in the city, with $9 regular admission tickets, and only $5 if you go on a Tuesday. And finally, CINSSU holds free film screenings every Friday night at Innis College as part of their Free Friday FIlm series. A full listing of this semester’s FREE screenings can be found here.
#1 Become a lab rat! Well, not exactly. By now, I can proudly say that I’ve likely accumulated hundreds of dollars in the last four years participating in various paid studies on campus. The most popular are the Rotman behavioral studies, where you fill out questionnaires that usually only take 30 minutes to an hour and pay anywhere from $3 to $20+. You can register here. Also, keep an eye out for posters on campus, usually around Sid Smith, that ask for volunteers. They are often studies run by the psychology department and they pay about $10-$30 to complete simple computer tasks and games for an hour. One summer I was paid $125 to play 20 hours of video games, it was great!