Making a Budget

It is important to ensure you have enough funds to cover your expenses during your time in Canada before you arrive. A personal monthly budget will help you review your funds and spend within your means. If you are bringing family members, you should budget approximately $4000 for the first family member and $3000 for each additional family member, per year.

The first month in Canada often has additional costs than what is planned in your monthly budget, like first and last month rent, setting up utilities, and buying supplies for your new living space to name a few. To avoid any surprise expenses in your first month, review the expenses to expect when you first arrive list in the  New Student section on Money & Banking.

Are you a graduate student?

Check out this Graduate Student Affordability Calculator to get a better estimate of what it will cost to attend one of Western's graduate programs.

This budget plan is only budgeting for living expenses, for tuition costs please visit the following pages for Undergraduate Students and Graduate Students.

Note: Estimates are in Canadian dollars (CAD) and are subject to change. Currency fluctuations, transportation, visa and study permit extension fees, etc. are additional costs to consider.

Currency converter

Off-Campus Student Living Cost Estimates (Single Student, not including family/spouse/dependents)

Item Price Estimate (CAD) Additional Information
Rent * $750 - $1800/month

With roommates ($750 - $1100/month); One bedroom/bachelor ($1400 - $1800/month).

Note: Y ou may be asked to pay the first and last month of rent before move-in.

Food $350 - $600/month Depends on which grocery store you use, the types of food you buy, and if the stores have student discounts.
Utilities & Cable ** $50 - 300/month Some landlords include utilities in the rental price and some don’t. Costs also vary significantly if you live with roommates or on your own.
Internet ** $15 - $100/month Varies significantly if you live with roommates or on your own. Average ($50/month).
Phone *** $20 - $95/month Bring your own phone ($20 - $65/month)
Purchase a phone ($35 - $95+/month and a required one time phone fee). Student discounts may be available with some providers.  More information on choosing a mobile phone plan.
Personal $100/month Depends on your needs, use your best judgment and compare to your lifestyle at home.
Clothing $800 - $2000/academic year Winter clothing can add expenses, depending on your needs. More information on planning for winter.
Eating out & Entertainment ~$300/month Depends on your needs, use your best judgment and compare to your lifestyle at home.
Laundry $0 - $25/month Some off-campus rental homes have laundry machines in the unit, but would require laundry soap and supplies.
Books & Supplies $1500 - $3000/academic year The cost of books/supplies depends on your program.

* Off-campus housing will almost always have 12-month contracts rather than 8-month contracts (the length of the academic year). Please budget based on how long you will be staying in Canada with this in mind. It may be necessary to pay for months that you aren't in London depending on your lease agreement. Sometimes students staying for shorter periods of time may be able to find sublets or shorter-term leases. See off-campus listings and off-campus renting tools for help.

**  When setting up any utilities, phone or internet, there may be additional connection and/or set up charges.

*** If you decide to buy a phone with a new contract through a payment plan, make sure that you read the contract carefully and understand the conditions. You may incur additional fees if you have to leave your contract early. Some payment plans may require a credit check.

Personal Budgeting Table

Resources              Expenses             
Contributions from family Tuition & Fees
Savings Health Insurance (UHIP)
Scholarships, Bursaries Textbooks, School Supplies
Loans Food
Part-Time Job Rent/Residence Fees  
Other Utilities
Cable (TV), Telephone/Cell Phone, Internet  
Toiletries, Laundry
Child care expenses (if applicable) 
Health Insurance for family (if applicable)
Study Permit/Visa renewals
Other (e.g., travel, dental, eye care, gifts)
Total Resources $ Total Expenses $

RESOURCES -  EXPENSES = $___________