PDF: Generation Why magazine print version

Generation Why is a financial advice website for millennials by millennials. 
Generation Why's goal is to teach you the lessons about money school forgot to. 
Read more here.
Following three months of hard work the staff-writers of Generation Why completed the
 print version of their inaugural edition.


How much is your degree worth?

Generation Why is a financial advice website for millennials by millennials. 
Generation Why's goal is to teach you the lessons about money school forgot to. 
Read more here.

The following is a curated list outlining the costs of various degrees in Canadian universities.


In case you hadn’t noticed, tuition fees for Canadian universities are really high. The average cost of tuition for a Canadian full-time student is $5,959 a year (if you want to know how much the average tuition is for your specific program) which accumulates to about $27,000 once you factor in fees at the end of a four-year degree. One woman managed to pay it off her debt in just 3 years. The mountain of student fees that international students face is even more daunting and their tuition fees usually go unregulated, in 2013 the average cost of tuition for an international student was $19,514… for just one year of study.

The Canadian Centre for Police Alternatives report says the cost of tuition has tripled since 1993 and is said to increase 13% by 2018. So in Ontario, where students pay the highest tuition fees in the country, their tuition will go from an average of 7,539 as of 2014 to $7,755 by 2017-18.

These massive student fees are a part of the reason Canadians owe $1.65 for every $1 they have of disposable income. Many financial experts suggest millennials live at home with their parents so they can save money and pay off their student debts. In the States, it’s estimated that millennials who live at home cost their parents $2,300 a year. American students take on about $35,000 in debt for their undergraduate degrees.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, besides you gotta spend money to make money, think of your education as an investment in your future. The median annual earnings for full time workers was  $41,600 for college graduates, $53,000 for bachelor graduates, $70,000 for master’s graduates and $75,000 for doctorate graduates.

If you want an even more specific calculation of how much your degree is worth, you can check out this fancy calculator that will tell you the value of your degree.

The best Canadian cities for millennials

Generation Why is a financial advice website for millennials by millennials. 
Generation Why's goal is to teach you the lessons about money school forgot to. 
Read more here.

Toronto and Montreal have been rivals for decades. Whether it’s the Leafs vs the Canadiens, UofT vs McGill or a debate about which city has the most attractive people, Toronto and Montreal are always in competition.

But which is a better city for millennials?

We asked a group of millennials what things they would consider before moving to a different city and compared those factors for Toronto and Montreal. We’re going to put an end to this silly debate once and for all! Probably not but here we go:

Median income

Toronto: $72,830     Montreal: $73,250

Median age

Toronto: 39.2             Montreal: 38.6

Crime rate

Toronto: 0.81%       Montreal 0.96%

Unemployment rate

Toronto: 7.8%         Montreal: 7.8%

Rent (1 bedroom apartment)

Toronto: $1,492.88, outside of city $1,142.12     Montreal: $942.90, outside of city 654.26

It looks like Montreal is the better city for millennials because the cost of living in Toronto is too damn high! According to Numbeo, Montreal is more affordable than Toronto in matters that most effect young adults like cost of rent and transportation. By Numbeo’s calculations the cost of living Toronto is 18% more expensive than in Montreal. You would need about $5,290.49 in Toronto to maintain the same lifestyle that you can have with $4,400.00 in Montreal.

People have often said “Toronto is a great city to live in…if you can afford it.”

Earlier this year the Angus Reid Institute conducted a survey which revealed that 45% of millennials are “seriously considering” moving out of Toronto because they don’t think they’ll ever be able to own a house there. Currently the cost of a house in Toronto is upwards of half-a-million dollars; and 8% increase since the last quarter. Many millennials feel as if they’re being pushed out of the housing market and being forced to rent. Unfortunately, that situation isn’t much better; according to Diana Cappa, student housing coordinator at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, Toronto’s vacancy rate is anywhere between 1-2%. That means if there are 100 rent-able apartments only 1 or two of them will be available at any given time in the year.

The high prices of owning and renting a place in Toronto means that many millennials will end up living at home longer than their parents did. Some have called this phenomenon of millennials living at home “failure to launch syndrome” while others say it’s a good idea. Even on the national level more and more young adults are living at home longer according to StatsCan.

According to Angus Reid Institute45% of millennails in the GTA  are “seriously” thinking of leaving the GTA due to the high cost of home ownership. And 48% of them are “frustrated” by how far they live from work or school. So if you’re tired of living at home or tired of how much it costs to live in Toronto you could always move. According to Monster.ca, it’s not even one of the top five cities of millennials. Neither is Montreal. Below is a map of Canada hi-lighting some of the best cities for millennials along with some important information about them cities.

Should I stay or should I go?

Generation Why is a financial advice website for millennials by millennials. 
Generation Why's goal is to teach you the lessons about money school forgot to.
Read more here.

I know it’s exam season but breathe; you’re almost there. Soon you’ll be home with warm beverages, holiday-themed-TV specials and most importantly, no school. Just visualize it. Where are you?

Some of you are studying in a different city than the one you grew up in; is that place your home or do you consider home where you’re living now? You may be thinking of relocating somewhere completely new even if you’re living at home now. The whole Ted Mosby “My parents live in Cleveland, I live in the moment” thing is only cute for so long. Eventually everyone has to move-out, enter the “real world” and there are some things you should consider first.



Jennah Pomgyal described moving-out as the “next level of life.” In 2009, Pomgyal took everything she owned and moved into an apartment in Toronto three hours from her home in Tillsonburg, Ont. Pomgyal, 25, moved to study theatre at Humber College and has lived in Toronto ever since. Life in Toronto, with it’s population of 2.79 million, is a culture-shift from the 15,000 people of Tillsonburg. Pomgyal said a big part of her decision to move was finding a job in her field.

“You need to be where the work is,” she explained. If there aren’t many jobs in the field you’re trying to get into, move. For an actress like Pomgyal that meant being in the city; Toronto has over a dozen theatres and one of the biggest entertainment district’s in North America.

The unemployment rate, crime rate, taxation rate and cost of living are all things you should consider before you relocate. For example, the unemployment rate is 12.3 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador and 4.7 per cent in Saskatchewan.



Young adults have to consider how close do they want to live to work (or school), do they want to be close to downtown, what is the cost of transit and are they going to rent privately or live with roommates. Diana Cappa says that preparing for your search is the first step to moving out. Cappa is the student-housing coordinator at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.

that UTSC’s residence office offers a two-hour workshop so students understand “what they’re entering into.”

UTSC’s residence office offers a two-hour workshop so students can get an understanding of “what they’re entering into.”

Cappa admitted that finding the perfect place in To ronto can be challenging because the market is “very competitive”, especially for affordable housing. “In Toronto the average vacancy rate is 1-2 per cent  per every rental unit it,” Cappa said.


One of the sacrifices young adults usually have to make to find affordable housing is being further from downtown or living with roommates. Roommates are a great way to cut back on the costs of living says Cappa because they split the cost of rent, utilities and sometimes furniture.Cappa recommends looking for places that are furnished or partially furnished and also suggested looking on community boards like Kijiji for furniture.

Having roommates can also be nice for the social benefits; they can help make you feel more comfortable in a place city as well as show you around. Sites like Groupon are also useful because they can help you find deals and cool things to do around the city.

Negotiating the terms of your lease before you sign it is another way you can save on your rent.

“There might be services like lawn maintenance or snow removal included in your lease that you can opt out of or negotiate for a flat rate” Cappa explained.

She pointed out that it’s important for young adults to be aware of their rights and responsibilities as tenants. It’s good to get legal advice or have someone help you decode the legal jargon of your lease, this is especially important for international students and people who’d first language isn’t English. Cappa said international students and people who’s first language isn’t English are most likely to be taken advantage of or discriminated against by landlords.


Vlada Moroz made a ton of adjustments when she moved to Halifax to live with her brother. She limited groceries  down to the essentails and spent most nights at home because regular work was hard to come by.

“I wasn’t getting nearly as many hours as before,” she recalled.

Not to mention, the minimum wage in Nova Scotia is $10.40 compared to $11.00 in Ontario. Sixty cents sounds like “no big deal” Moroz said but “you think about money differently when you’re paying for everything,” she elaborated.

Living in Halifax taught Moroz to be mindful when it came to money; she learned about rates, percentages, how to pay a bill and the importance of paying them on-time.

Moroz lived in Halifax for two-and-a-half years and said it was a horrible experience but it helped her become more independent.

“I definitely learned to ‘adult’ a little bit better,” she laughed.

Living away from home is a right of passage and it can be an amazing experience. Although moving out is a big step to take, don’t let it freak you out or turn you off. Someone living with their parents going into their 30s, now that’s a turn off.

If you’re thinking of moving-out check out the best cities for millennials in Canada. 

Babies havin’ babies

Generation Why is a financial advice website for millennials by millennials.
Generation Why's goal is to teach you the lessons about money school forgot to.
Read more here.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; cuffing season! If you’re single, it’s time to find someone to keep you warm. If you’re in a relationship, cuffing season is a time to indulge in cuddling, cute outdoor activities and matching-seasonal outfits; not to mention the Instagram posts that accompany them. #Bae.

According to Statistics Canada, the most popular months for babies are August, September and July, respectively. Meaning November, December and January are busy months for a lot of folks. So if you’re planning to start a family this winter–even if you’re not– you should know the financial realities that come with having children. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not cuffing season is a thing or not (it is).

There’s a lot to buy before and after a baby arrives, from bottles to changing tables. Dealing with the unexpected expenses that come with a child can be tough for a young parent, especially when the pregnancy is unplanned. But we’ve got all the tips you need to start getting prepared now.

Talk it out:

With your partner, your parents, a professional or a combination of the three. It’s important to discuss the financial side of having a baby early on: Where will you live? What items do you need to buy? Where will the money come from? Most young parents arrange to live with family so they can save on rent, though this isn’t always an option. Either as a couple, or on your own, you should be looking for other clever ways to save money. “You have to consider some things that weren’t luxuries before as luxuries now,” according to “Nanny” Robina Uddin, a parenting expert. She says looking for small ways to make cutbacks is the first step. Consider limiting restaurant visits to once a week or cancelling your Netflix subscription.

Buy smart:

Realizing how much you have to buy for a baby can be overwhelming, says Dominic, a 23-year-old dad from Toronto. “Everything goes through your head and you wonder how you’re going to support [your child],” he says. His girlfriend, Patti Wanless, 21, said their five-month-old son was “more expensive before [birth] than after,” because of big purchases like baby seats and a crib mattress. If you want to avoid buying out an entire Babies ‘R Us, start a registry with everything you need on it and throw a shower; friends and family will provide toys, clothes and even some big-ticket items for the baby.

When you’re picking up necessities yourself, Wanless points out that it’s important to be practical. A Mickey Mouse outfit is cute, but it’s a waste of $45.50 if the kid only wears it twice before they outgrow it. Check out second-hand stores to load up on onesies and sleepers. A baby monitor, on the other hand, is something you’ll want to purchase brand-new.

One thing you might not want to spend lots of money on is baby formula. There are competing theories about the benefits of breastfeeding vs formula but there’s no question  it’s hella expensive. “It really is an outrageous price, some are $30 a bottle,” Uddin explained. “It’s a huge pressure for families during the early days of the baby.” Some employers offer discounts on brands of formula through their health insurance plans… but still. For some families, like Sarah Brown’s, formula is the only option. Brown’s 14-month-old son was breastfeeding for the first month then wasn’t taking to it suddenly so she switched to formula. According to Brown formula is a “regular and expensive” necessity. “They can go through 2-3 cans a week,” she added.

The issue of breastfeeding or formula feeding is another thing that couples should talk about. Ultimately, it comes down to the baby and the mother’s decision.

Get support:

Dominic and Wanless live with Wanless’ family and Dominics’ sister is a willing nanny. “We have so many family members willing to help I don’t feel that much stress,” says Wanless.


Uddin warns that while they’re grateful for support from family and friends, it should never be expected.  It’s important to have back-up plans in case something changes like a grandparent isn’t able to look after the baby one afternoon.

Getting support for your baby also means getting support for yourself, Brown explains. “People will tell you to put the baby first, but you have to remember if you’re feeling low or sad, the baby will feel it too,” she said. She suggested finding a hobby (like working out or learning to play an instrument) or something you can do to focus on yourself and give yourself a break from worrying all the time; for Brown, it’s school. Having people to support you mentally, emotionally and financially when needed is the key to being happy while raising a baby according to Brown.

The young parents we spoke to de-bunked the rumours of Mean Girls and high-school-sex-ed class; having sex won’t kill you and having a child young isn’t the end of the world.

It does however take a lot of communication, support and learning on the job. But almost all parents will tell you that the sacrifices are worth it.

So, now that you know what you’re getting yourself into, you can get into it. All puns intended.

How much do you know about money?

Generation Why is a financial advice website for millennials by millennials. 
Generation Why's here to teach you the lessons about money school forgot the tell 
you about to help you become a more independent adult. Read more here.

Dear college/university grad,

Congratulations! You’ve graduated. You’re an adult now. You’re ready for the “real world”, ready to start an RRSP, improve your credit score and adjust your savings plan according to prime minster Trudeau’s new tax cuts, right? Nbd.

"There has to be a cheat sheet somewhere!"

“There has to be a cheat sheet under here somewhere.”

If you were reading that and it felt like you woke you in the wrong class again, join the club. An Ipsos Reid survey found that 60 per cent of Canadians aren’t confident with their financial management skills including 73 per cent of those aged 18 to 34.

Financial literacy is a skill that everyone needs yet they don’t teach it in school. You need to know how money works and how to use it responsibly, especially when it comes to things like getting married, pursuing a professional degree or paying back the small fortune you owe for your “education.”

But it’s not too late. Here are some financial tips school forgot to teach you:

Don’t get in debt or hurt your credit score:

Debt is an amount owed for loaning money from someone like a bank or a credit card company. Your credit score is a measure of the risk associated with lending you money based on your credit use.

“It defines your borrowing character and whether or not you’re worth loaning to,” Elie Dalle elaborated.

Dalle, 33, is a mortgage specialist for a Royal Bank of Canada in North York. He started working at RBC shortly after he graduated university, it was there he learned the financial ropes.

“I wish I had understood more at the time,” he admitted. “I didn’t when I graduated.”

“It’s extremely important that young people understand credit and don’t miss payments,” Dalle added.

Not making payments on time hurts your credit score and makes it difficult to be approved for loans later on. It makes you look irresponsible. Having a bad credit score also means the interest, the fee you pay for borrowing someone’s money, you’re going to be charged will be high.

Imagine buying a five-dollar-foot-long but having to pay six dollars for it because you’re charged a fee for getting your wallet slowly. Silly, right? The best way to avoid fees and high interest is to make a schedule for paying back debts.

Make a budget and stick to it:

The easiest way to avoid using someone else’s money is to use your own. You use your own money by saving it and the easiest way to save your money is to make a budget. A budget is a list of all your expenses (from booze to textbooks) and all your sources of revenue. The purpose of a budget is to find the difference between the expenses and revenue and make sure you’re making more money than you’re spending.

Bruce Sellery, a business journalist and founder of personal finance company Moolala, says it’s important to “address the gap” in one’s budget.

“For young people, it pays to look at what is discretionary – what you can change – versus what you cannot. ” he said.

You can’t save on tuition or rent but Sellery suggested packing a lunch, taking more shifts at work and leaving your debt and credit cards home while you party as ways that “make it easier to save and harder to spend.”

It helps to show your budget to a financially responsible adult Sellery,45, added.

“You’re more likely to do what you say you’re going to do t if you show it to someone,” he explained.

Invest your money:

A budget is a great way to map-out your finances and build a plan according to Hayden Jones, former financial advisor of Primerica Financial Services. Jones, 44, says good saving habits are the key to financial stability and you should start “as soon as you get a job.”

“Especially if you’re living at home and don’t have many responsibilities,” he added.

Jones recomends getting advice from financial advisers at school or friends who are financially savvy for advice. One of Jones’ savings tips is to is to set aside 10 per cent of your income to invest in an RRSP.

An RRSP is “Any type of saving or investment agreement with the government to not tax any growth on the money you’re investing,” Jones explained.

There are different kinds of RRSPs like bonds, mutual funds and stocks. Jones says ask yourself “what (investment) instruments will get me the best return?” when looking into RRSPs.

Think of it like this: If you make $100 a month and you’re going to put away $10 every week, would you rather a plan that adds 10 per cent of your initial investment to your savings every week or a plan that adds 25 per cent of your initial investment to your savings every month?  Your answer should be the first option because after a month you will have saved $40 and earned $4, (let’s assume it’s a non-leap-year February) whereas with option two after a month you will have saved $40 but earned only $2.50.

If this is new to you and you’re intimiadated don’t worry, there’s a lot to learn. Thankfully it’s not as boring as algebra and unlike algebra, this information will actually be useful in the real world. So, if you were planning to “see the world” before you “settle down”, you’ll need a good financial plan in place unless you plan to see the world from a screen.