How to Survive Living in Toronto

CN Tower, Centre Island, Casa Loma, hipster coffee shops, Cabana Pool Bar…. all places I’ve still never visited? WHY? Because I’m on a budget. YAS.

How is anyone supposed to make a living and turn up when the average house sells for almost 1 MILLION DOLLARS and #RidingTheRocket is $3.25 a ride? After living in Toronto for over a year, I’ve found ways to survive while on a budget, cause not all of us are fancy ass investors drivin’ around in Cadillacs. I mean…. that’s the goal for real.

Here is my list of way’s to experience the 6ix with your woes without breaking the bank (to all of the millennial haters that think I have no money management skills, yes I have a full-time job and a post-secondary education, but it’s hard out here). Whether you’re visiting the city for a weekend or trying to survive year-round like me, here’s some tips:

HOW TO SURVIVE THE 6IX ON A BUDGET!

  1. DON’T WASTE MONEY ON AN UBER OR CAB. Those surge prices will kill you, but if you really have to – Use Uber Pool or split with your friends to keep cost down
  2. Don’t pay for parking! Park in a residential area that has free parking and than hop on the TTC (Forest Hill is a safe area that doesn’t have pay parking enforced!)
  3. Guilty pleasure of mine is Starbucks for sure. Instead of buying a venti iced coffee, buy a tall and ask for free refills (if you’re a gold member)
  4. $1 Drink Days add up….. Keep your Mcdonald’s soft drink cup and bring it home. Rinse it out and bring it back whenever you want another drink
  5. Make sure your apartment is ALL INCLUSIVE. It might seem pricy but those extra utilities add up at the end of the month… thank you Kathleen Wynne.
  6. There is no shame in buying some stuff at the dollar store – a lot of my cleaning supplies and decor is from there and looks just as fine as Homesense
  7. Won’t go into detail, but check out Bunz Trading Zone on Facebook…
  8. Like Lush products? Go to the store and ask for a free sample (I usually get about 3 uses out of the product), repeat this cycle. Who has $25 for hand cream?
  9. Check out FREE event’s going on around the city – chances are there will be some free games and food at the Harbourfront, Nathan Phillips Square or at a Park!
  10. This one doesn’t always work but get on at the back of the streetcars – chances of them asking for ‘proof of payment’ are hella low (I haven’t been caught yet)
  11. Clubbing is hella fun but who the hell has money for: uber, cover, a cute outfit, drinks, drunk food (jr. chickens are essential), cab home? HELL NO 
    • LOTS of clubs have free guest list, free ladies before 11, etc
    • Pre-drink HARD. You want to have a good buzz going before you get there
    • Shots are usually the cheapest option – you don’t want a watered down mixed drink for $15
    • Leave early enough to catch the TTC back. $3.25 beats a $50 Uber
  12. Move slightly out of the downtown core for a more spacious and affordable space
    • Living in Little Italy was about $1200/month and small space
    • Cedarvale is $800/month with HUGE amount of space

Hope y’all enjoy these completely random tips to try and have fun while also not being broke as fuck in Toronto. I’ve lived here for a year and been able to save up enough money to buy a new car outright – IT CAN BE DONE! Comment below if you have any other tips to save some money and still be a boss ass bitch.

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