A Few Hacks to Make the #StudentLife a Little Cheaper

Being a student and with income like next to nothing its pretty hard to afford lavish quite just a lifestyle. The general income of a student is barely enough for meals and daily basics; and it tends to be when the realization of how expensive life can be, truly hits you. It is true that monthly expenses go quickly and little savings can go a long way. Here are few hacks for you to make your life a little cheaper!

 

Cook Your Own Meals

Try buying grocery and cooking your own meal rather than eating out every day! For worst days locate cheapest eat outs around the vicinity. You may be able to find places which provide meal as low as $5. 

 

Get Student Discounts:

Student discounts are available almost everywhere. You just have to ask for them. For few, it could be a little shy some to ask for – but, what could be better than saving a few bucks?

 

Thrift Shopping:

Find a nearest thrift store and try to find commodities from there. Trust me there is no happiness greater than saving a dime with a little hassle.

 

Online Shopping:

Online shopping can get you great discounts. You get to escape the commute expenses. There are quite a few online websites that offer almost everything at great prices and that too with free shipping option! You just have to search for it. 

 

Make Use of Coupons:

Get and USE any discount coupons that you find around. There is no utter shame in redeeming even if it saves you a cent. Install apps that notify about the discounts and coupons for all types of shopping.

 

BIY – Brew It Yourself! 

One can simply not operate without coffee. Rather than buying every morning from a store if you brew it yourself, it will save you almost $1100 per anum. You don’t believe it? Do the Math and thank us later!

 

Try Fixing Stuff Yourself:

Burnt wire or laptop messing? Try www.fixit.com and save all those bucks by fixing almost everything yourself.

 

Décor Your Montreal Student Residence Room in a Budget

Find sales before going back to school. Pick up sheets and pillows from clearance. You may get individual pack of cutlery rather than buying a whole set of it. Check out our article on how to spice up your Montreal student residence room on a budget.

 

 Vouch for Hand-Me-Downs

You may find second hand mini fridges and microwaves at great prices online. Try getting hold of garage or yard sales and collect a rug, cushions or an accent chair. You may also find few senior students getting rid of their old stuff. Take that opportunity.

 

Hopefully all these tips and tricks if followed, might help you save some, if not a lot of bucks. Have something of greater good to add? Write to us and follow us @stcathys. Or leave your precious comment in the box. 

10 Life Hack All Students Need to Know

Make this lifestyle a little bit better.

From an abundance of papers to general living difficulties, it can get pretty hard to adjust to living on your own after living all these years in a well-equipped household. Starting university life can be so exciting yet equally challenging. Even the tiniest of things could become so bothersome that you end up resenting the independent life. Struggles to maintain a good work-life balance is a tedious task on its own. Moreover, running a house for oneself in a tiny space takes a lot of patience and hit-trial experimentation to get tasks done.

It is the same with everyone and you are not alone in this. We have got ten amazing life hacks that can make your life super simple. SO take a deep breath and start on.

 

Create more space in your cupboard

We all know how cramped up the dorm closet hanging spaces are. And with all those piles of clothing that you bring to university to play dress to impress; small spaces can really become a headache! However, we have got a super sustainable solution to it. So the next time you drink a soda don’t throw the can tabs. Use can tab to make double hanging space.

 

Get hold of the pen thieves

The most easily lost stationary item is the pen. And almost everyone gets confused with their own and end up owning others. Here is simple hack; switch the cartridges. Get a pack of red and blue ones and switch their cartridges to escape the confusion in future. People will think twice to attempt a robbery on your pen treasure!   

 

Deep Sleeper Alert

It is really hard to get up on time when your parents have been your alarm clock through the past eighteen years. So the next time you set your alarm on the phone, place the phone inside a glass. It will give it a surround boost and makes sure that your dorm partner also wakes up with you!

 

 

Chilling a beer real quick

If your beer had to stay out because of inadequate space in the fridge, and you want a cold one real bad, that too in a few minutes. Wrap a damp paper around it and place it in the fridge for a while. It will be chilled in no time. You may Thank us later, after having your cool!

 

Tangled Cables

All the cables popping up through one night stand can get really messy and tangled! Use paper clips to sort the cables out. You won’t get confused!

 

Less time for prepping?

If you are short on time to know about a certain topic, Google the topic name and ppt along with it. It will give you available power point presentations on the topic which are easier to skim.

 

Make Google Docs your best friend!

Do your assignments on Google docs rather than relying on any other source in order not to lose your work. It easier, it’s secure and it’s shareable!

 

The first draft must be handwritten

Go old school and jot down the first draft of your assignment. It will help you remain focused on the topic.

 

Take breaks during assignments

Taking a break during assignments can refresh your mind and increase your productivity.

 

Slip a cutting board on a drawer

To make room at your pantry counter, slip a board on the drawer and cut your veggies conveniently!

 

All these hacks have been tried and tested and not a mere Google search. You must try these to make your life streamlined.

Do you have a life hack better than this, that works out wonders for you? Leave it in the comment section or tag us at @stcathys.

6 #LifeHacks to Ace Midterms

#GrindTime

You begin with a semester and as soon as you are about to get hold of the subjects an alarm starts to buzz in the background intimating about the upcoming midterms!! But didn’t we just start? Is the first question that pops! The exam tremors start creeping up and the hysteria starts to knock the leftover sense. And the brain finally tries to sink in the reality and announces, ‘My dear! There is absolutely no escape. Therefore you better start studying before your student residence becomes a scene from a horror movie!

Midterm fever may try to take you down with all its energy but hey there, we have got you covered! Here is a compilation of some extraordinary guide points to help you get through your midterm examination!

PLAN IT AHEAD

IMAGE 1

Don’t get carried away at the thought of Syllabus Sea. It’s alright! Make a schedule and divide the subjects or included topics and plot them against the number of days left. Making a plan will actually regain your confidence that you can still do something about it. The plan needs to be followed religiously. Do NOT just make it and let it sit inside the journal. FOLLOW! Also, your schedule should be three things. Achievable, Realistic and Crisp!

STUDY SMART NOT HARD

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Be smart in a way; that before you stick down to cram up the whole syllabus, it is recommended to gather all the hand-outs and notes taken in the class. Pile these up, and start going through these first. It is very smart to go through all the past tests and assignments to give yourself a fair idea of what your teacher thinks is important from exam point of view. However, this should not be just it; you must go through the other parts as well.

GROUPING

IMAGE 2

Must have heard, ‘Two heads are better than one’! Well, you may ask a couple of your classmates to gather in your student residence for giving your study game a raise. This will make you feel felt and you’ll have the confidence of others being in the same boat as you. Make sure the partners that you choose must have the same targets as yours; otherwise, the whole plan can be a fiasco! Grouping can also help you with the missing notes and concepts. So do not hesitate to ask for it!

SAVE THE TIME

image 4 This one is for the people residing in a student residence. Once you start to study, you will realize how tiny things bite off your time. Do NOT skip on your meals for the sake of not wasting your time on cooking. Well, be a little organized and store your groceries ahead of time. Also, cook a few meals and refrigerate. If not this, order readymade meals.


STOMPING ON SLEEP

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This one is strictly prohibited. A fresh brain can perform thrice as better than an insomniac or worn out brain. Try not to drag yourself through the all-nighters. Take at least three to four hours of sleep before appearing for the exam.

CHANGE PLACES

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Change of scenery can help you feel afresh and can affect your retention. Try changing places while prepping. If the grouping worked for you, you may take turns in others’ rooms as well. And if not that, use the library or a nearby coffee shop for the purpose!

 

Keep yourself all collected through the midterm mania. A stitch in time saves nine. Don’t rely on the last minute preparation. Start preparing well ahead to save yourself from distress. Also, this guide works before the eleventh hour as well. We have warned you!

What are your favorite hacks to get through the midterms? Let us know in the comment section below or tag us in your creative methods.

APPS TO BETTER YOUR LIFE

Join us in the 21st century. 

We’re all familiar with Instagram, Airbnb, Uber, Twitter, Maps, Snapchat, and the various usual smartphone culprits, but some less widely popular apps exist that are ridiculously useful. We composed a list of apps that will facilitate your daily life and increasingly all-around efficiency:

 

Transit App

TransitApp_1000x563_8.28.13

I’ve personally been using this App for 3 years now and trust me when I say- it really is for all of your transit needs. Transit App does everything shy of literally transporting you through the phone. Bus? Metro? Uber? Transit App has you covered.

 

Waze

waze-app-1024x682

waze

Calling all drivers! Waze is what you’ve been waiting for; this App will literally keep you out of traffic, as it’s constantly updated by traffic reports from other users, will warn you when a cop is near or waiting ahead, give all possible routes to your destination, and works surprisingly well/accurately as you’re driving. If you’re a driver without Waze, you’re seriously missing out.  

 

Just Eat or Uber Eats

just eat

uber eats

Depending on your location, Just Eat or Uber Eats is sure to be your BFF. It’s food delivery made even easier, and with driver tracking and cashless orders- it’s not just easier, but it’s food delivery for the 21st century.

 

Kuoto

kuototo

Canada’s version of Task Rabbit, this App allows you to pick up tasks that tend to be worth a little bit more than the popular task app Fiverr ($5). The app allows people searching for work or random jobs to run others’ errands, stand in line for them, babysit, dog walk, bake a cake, or really any other random task, and again, is completely cashless!  

 

Fitbrain

fitbrain

fitbrain 2

Keep your brain fit, especially during your summer months off, with Fitbrain. Featuring sections to improve various parts of your brain health, analytics to review your stats, and various entertaining game series as your brain tests, this is the only gaming app you need (well that and Pokemon Go!).

 

Fitness pal

fitnesspal 2

Keep your body fit with the help of Fitness Pal. Another personal favorite, Fitness Pal does everything from counting calories and analyzing your micros and macros, to keeping track the various nutrients you’ve taken in and setting the best plan for your fitness goals regarding your specific height, weight, and activity level. This app is everything for a fitness-lover, someone trying to lose weight or gain muscle, or anyone leading/trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.

 

IBotta

ibotta

Because as a student, Lil Dicky hits close to home when he said “we gotta save dat money”.

IBotta will facilitate exactly that- this app lets you know where the various discounts are in your city: retail, grocery, restaurants, and more. This can be extremely helpful when trying to find grocery steals or cheap drinks/apps around the city.

 

Goodbudget Planner

goodbudget planner

Budgeting seems to be the one important life skill often not learnt in school-  lucky for us, there’s an app for that! Goodbudget planner takes away the stress of planning a budget by facilitating the process to ensure the most efficient use of your parents’ money.

 

Rescuetime

rescuetime

Ever wonder how much time you waste during the day? Do you dare see how many hours you’re spending on social media daily? Rescuetime will analyze how you or your team have been spending your time, how long you’re spending on certain apps,  and will customize to your personal time management goals. This is a god-given gift when finals comes around.

 

Buddhify

buddhify

Not necessarily making life easier, but definitely bettering it and lowering your stress level; Buddhify is a meditation and mindfulness app completely customized to your lifestyle-. From an insomniac, to a city-slicker, to a world traveler, Buddhify has your meditation needs covered.

 

Shazam

shazam

When you hear a song and are wondering what it is, Shazam is to the rescue! This app will listen to a passage of a song and automatically ID (name, artist, album) the track for you. Never miss a new classic again.

 

SleepCycle

sleepcycle 2

sleepcycle 1

Because as a uni student, every moment of sleep is PRECIOUS. And so, you may as well sleep as effectively and efficiently as possible.

 

Data Tracker

data tracker

 

Do yourself a favor, avoid the trouble and manage that data, with the help of Data Tracker!

 

Evernote

evernote

It’s the agenda app of all agenda apps. Organize notes, tasks, exams, project dates, to-do lists, and literally everything else- all from 1 app! Evernote is bound to help you avoid that 5% first-day late deduction.

 

Refme

Refme

Do you know what the worst part about writing a long paper is? Spending the entire following hour sourcing it. Let’s never do that again… Refme will scan and automatically create various different source citations in the options of APA, MLA, Chicago, and ASA citation styles.  

 

YikYak

yikyak yikyak

Okay so again, not making life easier, but for sure keeping it entertaining. To keep up on campus and get some good laughs, download YikYak. It’s essentially an anonymous version of twitter based on your location, allowing “peeks’ at the posts in other locations. It’s especially popular among university students, and is absolutely hot in Montreal (no matter your uni)- Mcgill being the only Canadian university with a “peek” section among the Ivy League schools in the U.S..

 

LIFE/STUDENT/RES HACKS

Life is hard enough already.

The student life is incredibly entertaining, fast-paced, and full of opportunity and reward, but is also undeniably tricky- especially at the beginning. Have no fear! We decided to set you up with a list of some student/residence/Montreal life hacks to facilitate you in getting acquainted with your new city and lifestyle.

 

X2 the Speed

Playback Speed

Come cram time, the only way to get through all of your recorded lectures is by setting the playback time at twice the speed. Thank me later.

 

No Credit Card?

prepaid visa

Visa gift cards can get you free trials online. No apple music subscription? Fix that now!

 

Two words: STUDENT DISCOUNT.

student discount

Take advantage of the various student discount options that pop up around Montreal – Topshop, STM’s Opus card, Roots, Greyhound…. it saves pays to ask if a discount is offered!

 

Kijiji is Your Friend!

Kijiji books and shit

Tickets, textbooks, or anything else your heart desires, almost always comes cheaper via Facebook groups and Kijiji. Not only that, but Facebook groups localized to Montreal will help you with some seriously hard-to-get information (Concordia Book Exchange, Montreal Rave Community, Used Clothes Exchange Mcgill, etc.).

 

For All Those Presentations … 

raising hand

When giving a presentation, set a friend up to ask a question you already know the answer to- ways to impress your Prof 101.

 

Discount Groceries and Markets

Cheap Grocery Stores 

Discount grocery stores- they exists, they’re cheap, they help when you gotta “save dat money”.

Check out this list of cheap grocery stores around Montreal.

 

$5 Food

warehouse

From hot dogs at Montreal Pool Room to a deli sandwich at Super Sandwich, munchie meals for under $5 in Montreal DO exist. My personal favorite? $5 meals at Crescent Street’s Warehouse.

 

Warm Drink?

wet paper

For those times you forget to put your drinks in the fridge, wrap a warm drink in a cold/wet paper towel and place it in the fridge. After allowing it to sit for 15 minutes, it’ll be cool enough to drink thereafter.

 

24h Study Spots

24hr

Come finals, the libraries get crammed- and quick. Second Cup and Cafe Noir are just two of the 24 hour cafes with wifi in Montreal. Keep a good list, because by finals these places will become your saving grace!

 

Scope Out The Steals

dollar cinema

Montreal, as expensive as it can be, is also full of great deals; there’s a place called Dollar Cinema, where admission is as little as $2.50 and snacks go for $1 each, and a thrift store called Eva B with floors and floors of $5 clothes (and a vegetarian terrasse for when your feet get sore). Taking the time to find the discounts can sometimes really pay off- try an app like RetailMeNot or Shopular.

 

Ride Share

Rideshare

If you’re looking to get to another city for the weekend, the cheapest way is via ride share. You can find them on Kijiji, your university or college’s Facebook groups, or ride share apps like Kangaride. Prices are as low as $15 between Ottawa and Montreal, and $30 between Toronto to Montreal. Although a great deal, it’s always suggested to take a ride share with at least one other person if possible, and to use your best judgement when entering someone’s vehicle. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

 

Missing a TV?

tablet attach

If you’re a tablet or Ipad owner, the answer is quite easy! Your recipe simply needs Dollar Store hooks to fasten your tablet to the wall, and voila!, a new TV or second screen for your place.

 

What about a speaker?

phone in glass

Heavy sleeper, or speaker-less? Place a phone or Ipod in a glass cup- it will double as speaker with the glass amplifying the phone’s sound.

 

The Flask Hack

brush flask 2

Need I say more? Also available in cameras, binoculars, and a few other various items.

 

And finally,

fold fitted bed sheet

Because who are we kidding, after at least 17 years of trying to figure this out, we all thought the only possible answer was to crumple it up and throw it in the back of your linen closet.