The recent Market Manuscript Fall 2017 by Ben Myers, Senior VP, Market Research & Analytics, Fortress Real Developments, stated that 33% of millennials plan to leave the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to find a more affordable home to purchase.
If one-third of millennials decide to leave the GTA, we’re losing a big chunk of young talent, so our workforce could take a hit, which would have a negative impact on our economy.
The millennial resident is a key demographic in the rental, resale, and new housing markets, so we need as many of them to stay as possible, which is why we’ve listed a few creative ways to save money living in the GTA.
1) Invest in a bike
Depending on the bike you purchase, this could involve a significant cost up front, but in the long run, you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
A day pass with the TTC costs $12.50 and even if you’re only paying two ways, it will cost you $6.50 ($3.25 a ride). Paying $6.50 five days a week for a whole month equals $130 total! Think you’ll save money with a monthly Metropass? That costs $146.25. Yes, there is a slight discount when using Presto, but if you take transit to commute, you’re likely paying more than $100 a month.
Compared to people who need to own a car and drive to work, this is actually affordable. But, many millennials live downtown specifically so they don’t need to own a car or because they can’t afford a car.
If you decide to buy a bike, you can get to and from work for free. The only costs associated with a bike are maintenance costs. Plus, it’s a healthier and quicker way to get around compared to other transportation options.
2) Charge yourself to use social media
What are millennials using these days? Most are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, some joined the kids on Snapchat. Whatever you’re using to be “social” come up with a way to charge yourself real money for using it.
If you use online banking, why not transfer $5 into your savings every time you open one of your social apps? This will also help you realize how much time you’re wasting on your phone. A cost to use the app may deter you from using it as much, forcing you to go outside and explore your amazing downtown neighbourhood or see people in real life.
3) Cook bigger meals for the week
Everyone knows how much millennials love spending money on takeout and dining out. Well, the GTA has some amazing farmer’s markets where you can buy a whole week’s worth of groceries. Winter is coming, so cook up a huge stew and put it in tupperware or freeze it. Spending a few bucks on fresh, local ingredients can turn into seven meals!
4) Workout instead of going out
Some people spend money out of boredom or simply because it’s Friday and they feel like they have to go out. Next time you get bored and go to hop on Amazon, put on your sneakers instead and go down to the gym. If you live in a condo, you likely have a gym in the building. There are maintenance fees included in that rent you’re paying, so put your amenities to good use!
If you don’t have a gym in your building, go for a run or bike ride. Head over to High Park and go for a hike or something. There’s so much to do outside in downtown Toronto that requires no money at all.
We hope these tips help a few millennials save up to actually afford to stay in the GTA!