Money Matters

Living Expenses

Living Expenses in Wolfville

Your monthly budget will vary depending on your hobbies, interests, and living situation. The numbers below are ballpark estimates to give you an idea of what your expenses may look like. These estimates were last updated in Summer 2019.

  • Rent and Tenant's Insurance: $400-500 per person (shared apartments) or $650-1000 (1 bedroom), $20 tenant's insurance
  • Electricity, heat, hot water: $35-125 (some utilities may or may not be included in rent)
  • Groceries: $200-350
  • High-Speed Internet: $55-100
  • Smartphone: $55-70 per month plan cost (unlimited texting and 1-4 GB data), purchase a phone ($250-1250)
  • Entertainment: $200+ (one night out each week, two movie tickets, and subscriptions for Netflix/video streaming and Spotify/music streaming)

Factors in living expenses and saving money

  • Utilities: How much does heat, hot water, and electricity cost? It may vary quite a bit depending on what type of heat source (oil, electric, etc.) your building offers. Some buildings may include some or all utilities.
  • The more the merrier?: Living with roommates will cut down your costs. You'll save money on rent and you'll be able to share expenses for food, utilities, and internet service. Hanging out with friends at home to chat, watch movies, or play games is also often cheaper than going out.
  • The costs of a car: Most students live within 2km of campus, which makes walking or biking a great choice. Bus service is also available from several neighboring communities. If you plan to drive a car, you'll need to budget for your car payment, insurance, maintenance, and consider a parking pass. We also recommend that you purchase snow tires for the winter.
  • Bills build up: Avoid extra services and perks that you don't need, especially when it comes to your phone and entertainment. Could you use Wifi and videochat apps like Skype or Facetime to avoid expensive data overages and long distance calling fees? Do you really need cable or more than one streaming service?
  • Think thrifty: You can purchase a lot of things that you'll need like clothing, furniture, and textbooks on the used market. There are lots of local secondhand stores, yard sales, clothing swaps, and vintage shops, and you can check local or online marketplaces like Kijiji for items like furniture. Remember to stay safe when buying from an online seller by meeting in a public place, bringing a friend, or making sure people you trust know where you're going.
  • Student benefits: As a full-time student, you'll have a student health plan, free access to the library and gym, and free tickets to Acadia varsity sports games.
  • Credit card caution: If you don't pay off your balance each month, your credit card bill can quickly snowball. The average annual interest rate for student credit cards is 18.11%!
  • H.A.L.T.: You should budget for things you enjoy like eating out, going to movies, and buying clothes, but remember that these are sneaky expenses that can add up quickly. We tend to make more impulsive decisions when we're Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired—and this definitely applies to shopping. Use a grocery list (and coupons or savings apps) and avoid using "retail therapy" if you're feeling stressed or unhappy.