Light peeks

Frugality helps

Life in Canada today and 30 years earlier:

Today, financial self-sufficiency is impossible without taking breaks from school to work. The Bank of Canada’s handy inflation calculator tells us that my $1,000 tuition back in 1984 would cost $2,028 today if it increased just by the inflation rate annually. But according to Statistics Canada, the latest read on average tuition fees is $5,366.

In Ontario, the minimum wage is $10.25. A student who puts in a 40-hour work week for 12 weeks would stand to make about $4,900. That’s a sizable shortfall on tuition, never mind the cost of student fees, books and living expenses. As a parent of an 18-year-old heading to university out of town next year, I can tell you that budgeting $18,000 to $20,000 per year is prudent.

It's quite depressing to be a graduate from university in the last few years. The tuition fees have outstripped inflation by a huge margin and wages have been stagnant. So, young people are paying more and more money to get a degree which, as time passes, results in a lower and lower wage.

In addition, the price of housing, utilities, food and oil has been increasing. So, whatever litttle money new graduates do make goes to the necessary bills. There's little left over for savings.

Many young adults can avoid a lot of headache if they choose their major(s) wisely and don't spend their money frivolously. There's no question that life is tough but it's tougher if you're stupid.


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