My First Year University Expenses

This will be a short blog post of my expenses from the past 8 months of school.

Goals of this post

  • Break down each category of expense and discuss it

Tuition + University Fees

Tuition for first year UofT Engineering is $15,760 for domestic students and $54,840 for international students. Along with the tuition are some other fees which are shown in the pictures below.


Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 5.20.36 PMScreen Shot 2019-04-19 at 5.20.45 PM

I also decided to opt out of the dental and drug insurance plans to get some money back for both semesters.


Before completing grade 12, my friends and I who had all planned to come to UofT decided to find a place together instead of living on residence. This saved us a ton of money. The residence that I received an offer from was called Chestnut which costed about $16k for 8 months.  This was just too expensive and not a wise decision.

My friends and I luckily found a house due to someone we knew and got a bargain at $700 per month for each person (this is considered cheap for Toronto). The total price I paid for rent over 8 months was $5600.

Also just for note, my parents paid my for rent, but I still included it as an expense to just show how expensive it can become if your parents/guardians do not pay for it. 


Since I had decided to not live on campus, I used the TTC to get to school and get back home. I spent approximately an average of $85 per month on this.


Living on my own led to eating out quite often. On average I spent about $87 per month on eating food from outside. This includes anything from grabbing a bite on campus to ordering pizza to the house.

Fortunately, when I went home during the weekends, my parents loaded bags of food to take with me to Toronto which saved me a lot of money. 

School Expenses

This expense includes anything that was not included in my tuition. For example, Prep 101 sessions, school supplies, lab equipment, and other class requirements. The total expense for this was $1591.65.

I only bought 1 hardcopy textbook since all textbooks that I needed for every class were provided for free (online copies) by upper year students before the school year began. Not having to purchase textbooks definitely helped to cut down school expenses.

Home Expenses

Home expenses were mainly present during the first 3 months of the school year when I was moving in and buying things for my rooms. The total expense was $841.91. This total included the price for my desk, bed frame, mattress, carpet, and some other necessities for my room.


Groceries were mostly covered by my parents, but occasionally I would go myself and get some. I tracked most of the money that my parents spent on groceries for me but some of the receipts were thrown out (sad emoji). The average cost of groceries was about $54.70 per month.

As stated before, I went back to my hometown on weekends and brought lunch/dinner for most of the following week, thus helping to reduce the need for grocery shopping.

Personal Expenses

This expense includes anything from clothing I purchased on any sort of ‘entertainment’ expense like maybe going to watch a movie or going to nearby events. The total cost for this was $330. This expense consisted more of clothing purchases than entertainment expenses (another sad emoji).


When I add everything up, the total approximate expense cost comes to about $27,465. However it is to note that all of my tuition was paid for by OSAP, UTaps (UofT grant), and scholarships. In addition, I had lots of UTaps money left over even after paying my tuition, which was used to help pay for the other expenses I listed. 


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