Personal Finance

Living and paying off school loans on minimum wage.

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  • Aug 14th, 2014 3:13 pm
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[OP]
Member
Oct 16, 2010
309 posts
161 upvotes
Toronto

Living and paying off school loans on minimum wage.

Anyone on here manage to do this? I'll be graduating in one year and have already started saving up. I plan to spend the next 10 or so years paying off my OSAP loans, which will be $25,000 by the time I graduate. According to OSAP, average time to pay off student loans is 9.5 years, but obviously that is assuming a starting salary that is much higher than minimum wage.

I won't be using a car, no cellphone, and no cable/TV either. My only bills would be the internet bill, food and cleaning appliances/necessities, metropass, and heating/energy utilities. Perhaps I'll buy some books every now and again from amazon, though they tend to be quite expensive ($100-150). Everything saved will put into paying off the loan, that will be my main life goal for the next 10 or so years. I plan to do 2 jobs if possible and work 60-70 hours every week. I also go out only a handful of times the entire year, and its mainly only when a good friend is in town that I haven't seen for several years.

How doable is this? Is it realistic to expect to my loans off within the next 10 years if I live within my means as described above?
105 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 19, 2014
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How about instead of working 60hrs a week on minimum wage, you work 40 and spend the remaining 20 doing everything in your power to get a better paying job, or learning a skill or starting business?

I'm confused as hell.. Your post suggests you are intelligent enough and you presumably will also have a university degree... Why would you aim for absolute rock bottom? Minimum wage is for high school dropouts, druggies or freshly landed illiterate immigrants just starting out. What am I missing here?

If you find a 50k a year job you can pay your debts off in just over a year and move on.
Sr. Member
Oct 14, 2012
622 posts
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Woodstock
Why live in the GTA if you are only going to make minimum wage? (I imagine there's probably a reason like an elderly relative; significant other; etc.) If you can, you might want to consider living somewhere cheaper. Rent in the GTA is brutal.

I'm sure you're already trying to get a job that pays more than minimum wage which would help considerably.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Post doesn't make sense or the message wasn't relayed properly.
No one in their right mind would attend post-secondary schooling and continue working at a min way job after graduation?
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Aug 19, 2008
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vkizzle wrote:
May 28th, 2014 9:51 pm
Post doesn't make sense or the message wasn't relayed properly.
No one in their right mind would attend post-secondary schooling and continue working at a min way job after graduation?
Agreed, it does seem a bit sketchy. You don't need a degree to get a minimum wage job, so why waste the money on school? Although I do know one person who paid big dollars for an engineering degree and has been unemployed since he graduated more than a decade ago.
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Feb 10, 2013
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Donnie740 wrote:
May 28th, 2014 9:57 pm
Agreed, it does seem a bit sketchy. You don't need a degree to get a minimum wage job, so why waste the money on school? Although I do know one person who paid big dollars for an engineering degree and has been unemployed since he graduated more than a decade ago.
as the saying goes, better a job than no job at all to bring in at least some income. If possible, try living at home with your parents so your living expenses will be nil, Only thing you'll have to worry about is the grocery bill or whatever bill you get to foot the bill for.

As for your phone bill. PS, if you're willing to put up less than stellar service at times, a basic wind plan for $25 will cover both your home phone needs and your cellphone needs since basic wind plan has unlimited local canada wide calling while telus home phone only offers local calling for the same price. Add in an extra 10 dollars and you have 5 gb of internet per month. -> no internet bill just cellphone bill.
[OP]
Member
Oct 16, 2010
309 posts
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Toronto
arkroyal wrote:
May 28th, 2014 9:42 pm
How about instead of working 60hrs a week on minimum wage, you work 40 and spend the remaining 20 doing everything in your power to get a better paying job, or learning a skill or starting business?

I'm confused as hell.. Your post suggests you are intelligent enough and you presumably will also have a university degree... Why would you aim for absolute rock bottom? Minimum wage is for high school dropouts, druggies or freshly landed illiterate immigrants just starting out. What am I missing here?

If you find a 50k a year job you can pay your debts off in just over a year and move on.
Good question. I graduated with a degree that is not employable, unfortunately. I intended to go to graduate school, but I got burned out sometime along the way. So, right now I just want to spend my time working and paying my debt off. I do hope to go to graduate school sometime in the distant future, but not now.

The only job I am qualified to do at this time is a minimum wage job. Picking up extra skills means getting more credentials which requires more loans, which is something I'm not at all interested at all. As for a 50K/year job, that's a fantasy at this point. I'd be happy if I could get a 30K/year job, which also seems quite out of reach.
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Aug 19, 2008
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attire wrote:
May 28th, 2014 10:26 pm
Good question. I graduated with a degree that is not employable, unfortunately.
Never heard of anyone degree being unemployable immediately after graduation - - well, save for one. What's your degree in?
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Jan 3, 2009
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Donnie740 wrote:
May 28th, 2014 10:32 pm
Never heard of anyone degree being unemployable immediately after graduation - - well, save for one. What's your degree in?
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Apr 19, 2014
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attire wrote:
May 28th, 2014 10:26 pm
Good question. I graduated with a degree that is not employable, unfortunately. I intended to go to graduate school, but I got burned out sometime along the way. So, right now I just want to spend my time working and paying my debt off. I do hope to go to graduate school sometime in the distant future, but not now.

The only job I am qualified to do at this time is a minimum wage job. Picking up extra skills means getting more credentials which requires more loans, which is something I'm not at all interested at all. As for a 50K/year job, that's a fantasy at this point. I'd be happy if I could get a 30K/year job, which also seems quite out of reach.
Let me get this straight, you have:
- A math major and an economic minor
- A 3.8 GPA
- Quite a bit of experience and knowledge in numerical methods, simulations, and computational mathematics.
- A good grasp on Matlab, C++, Mathematica, Fortran, and Python.
- Literacy

...And you're looking to spend the next 10 years working with people with 80 I.Qs. while paying pennies on your OSAP loan?? What the F is wrong with you?

You have the skill set right in front of you to make more than 100k a year within a year or two. You do realize there are startups out there looking for python coders? Get a good working knowledge of that or some other useful coding language like ruby on rails, then go work for a startup. There are tonnes of online free coding courses to take...like code academy, coursera etc.

Where are you from? If you're in a bigger city.. there are meetups where people with your skill set network, code together, startup things together and where entrepreneurs go to look for people with skill sets like your own. If you're in a small town, go move to somewhere where your skills are in demand.

Seriously man do some research now and stop waiting to "get" a job and go out and forge your own.
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Nov 30, 2009
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Trololollolol
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Nov 2, 2013
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There are 3 ways to make money

1) Save; reduce expenses
2) Increase your income (additional training? move? look at other work?)
3) Both of the above
attire wrote:
May 28th, 2014 10:26 pm
Good question. I graduated with a degree that is not employable, unfortunately. I intended to go to graduate school, but I got burned out sometime along the way. So, right now I just want to spend my time working and paying my debt off. I do hope to go to graduate school sometime in the distant future, but not now.

The only job I am qualified to do at this time is a minimum wage job. Picking up extra skills means getting more credentials which requires more loans, which is something I'm not at all interested at all. As for a 50K/year job, that's a fantasy at this point. I'd be happy if I could get a 30K/year job, which also seems quite out of reach.
Then I'd expand your employment options to all over Canada instead of just your immediate area, and even look at different work rather than just one narrow scope.
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[OP]
Member
Oct 16, 2010
309 posts
161 upvotes
Toronto
BetCrooks wrote:
May 28th, 2014 9:44 pm
Why live in the GTA if you are only going to make minimum wage? (I imagine there's probably a reason like an elderly relative; significant other; etc.) If you can, you might want to consider living somewhere cheaper. Rent in the GTA is brutal.

I'm sure you're already trying to get a job that pays more than minimum wage which would help considerably.
I want to live in the GTA seeing as most of my family lives around here, and I want to be close by. Also, lots of job opportunities here even if it is low paid work. Rent isn't that bad when you consider living in the more run-down areas of the city.
[OP]
Member
Oct 16, 2010
309 posts
161 upvotes
Toronto
arkroyal wrote:
May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm
Let me get this straight, you have:
- A math major and an economic minor
- A 3.8 GPA
- Quite a bit of experience and knowledge in numerical methods, simulations, and computational mathematics.
- A good grasp on Matlab, C++, Mathematica, Fortran, and Python.
- Literacy

...And you're looking to spend the next 10 years working with people with 80 I.Qs. while paying pennies on your OSAP loan?? What the F is wrong with you?

You have the skill set right in front of you to make more than 100k a year within a year or two. You do realize there are startups out there looking for python coders? Get a good working knowledge of that or some other useful coding language like ruby on rails, then go work for a startup. There are tonnes of online free coding courses to take...like code academy, coursera etc.

Where are you from? If you're in a bigger city.. there are meetups where people with your skill set network, code together, startup things together and where entrepreneurs go to look for people with skill sets like your own. If you're in a small town, go move to somewhere where your skills are in demand.

Seriously man do some research now and stop waiting to "get" a job and go out and forge your own.
I think many of you, who can't understand the truly unfortunate position many of us new graduates find ourselves in, are people who graduated many years ago when there were many good paying jobs or in a profession that is consistently in demand. Math is a great subject, but no employer is going to pay you for your advanced knowledge of real analysis and topology. The main options are either get a PhD and become an academic or become a math teacher. There are some options in industry such as operations research, optimization, cryptography, quantitative/mathematical finance, etc. but almost all of these positions typically require an MS in math at the very least and prefer a PhD. I want to do the PhD, but I am just too burned out for it right now.

I've applied for a lot of the software developer internship positions, and nearly all of them required a computer science degree. If you didn't have a CS degree, you're deemed "unqualified" by HR even if you can do the job. The reason is because HR themselves are people who don't have the technical expertise and knowledge to understand the required skills for the job, and hence, they need to go by the credentials rather than the skills. I go into this more in my other thread, so I'd recommend you read it.

I don't know why people in this thread are acting as if there are a plethora of 50K/year jobs that will pay people who simply have any degree. Maybe it was like this in the distant past, which only further strengthens my initial assumption that a lot of you graduated in a completely different time and economy. There are quite a lot of people with BA's/BSc's that are working minimum wage jobs. I'm not some isolated case, this is just the new reality.
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Feb 11, 2009
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I really don't get it. Why are you graduating from a university making minimum wage? I made more than minimum wage working at Wonderland in high school!

I really encourage you to use your universities resources to get a connection and find a better job.

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