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“Value Village is my weakness”: How a pharmacy student spends his $18K

OSAP covers most of his tuition

By Roxy Kirshenbaum| Photography by Erin Leydon
“Value Village is my weakness”: How a pharmacy student spends his $18K

Who: Arnold Ruste, 24 What he does: Doctor of pharmacy student, part-time barista What he makes: $18,000 a year Where he lives: A three-bedroom apartment in Kensington Market, which he shares with four roommates

Regular expenses: Rent: $530 a month, for a bedroom. “I’ve been living in this rent-controlled apartment for about four years now.” Internet: $15 a month for his share. Cellphone: $80 a month with Rogers. “My parents are footing the bill.” Groceries: $75 a month. “I rarely find the time to cook, so if I buy groceries, it’s mostly on a single-meal basis.” Eating out: $125 a month. “When you’re busy, it’s just so convenient to eat out.” Transportation: $50 a month. “I mostly ride my bike, but I load up my Presto to visit my parents in Ajax. It costs about $20 for a round trip.” Subscriptions: $15 a month. “I have a premium Spotify account that I share with my family.” Education: $20,000 a year for the PharmD program. “But OSAP gives me about $14,000 a year in loans and grants.” The rest of his tuition is paid with a line of credit. Thrift shopping: $75 a month. “Most of my closet is thrifted. Value Village is my weakness.”

Recent splurges: Travel: $4,000. “I took a three-week vacation in Europe in June,” said Arnold. “My partner and I planned it a year in advance and saved in the process.” Shoes: $750. “I recently splurged on a pair of Dior B24 sneakers. My brother found me a great deal online, so I just went for it.” iPhone screen repair: $220. “I couldn’t stand looking at a cracked phone anymore.” Ring light for cellphone: $130. “Got it for all my selfie needs.” Conference tickets: $485. “I’m going to the national pharmacy conference in Montreal.”

Want to tell us about your Cost of Living? Email us at costofliving@torontolife.com.

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