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McGill vs. UofT

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6 hours ago, darkangel45422 said:

I paid 100% of law school myself (loans, some financial aid, etc. - no family support), 100% intended on going into criminal law when I went into law school, and came out of it with over $100k in debt and went into duty counsel work. I don't regret it at all - I loved my years at U of T, in fact stayed an extra year to do a Criminal LLM. I also paid off all of my debt before I was a 3rd year call - again, working as a duty counsel in Ontario. I was actually even unemployed for a few months between articling and getting my first job. 100% of the debt repayment was from salary - no inheritances, windfalls, etc.

 

You can 100% survive with a lot of debt and pay it off easily with even a low paying law job if you make the choice to prioritize that.

How is this possible? Can you provide a breakdown? 

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23 hours ago, artsydork said:

Pzabby, McGill students are hesitant to leave the ghetto/plateau but HoMA, St Henri, the Pointe, Lincoln area, Verdun, Ville Emard, Lasalle, Cote-des-Neiges, etc. all have more affordable rent and are within a 30 min radius of the school. Montreal rent is increasing, but I have friends with a 2.5 for $570 on the green line. You can find a 4.5 for under 1 grand fairly easily too.

He said a one bedroom. A cheap studio in a cheap neighborhood? Sure. But then you're dealing with a landlord who won't fix the heat when it breaks, potentially bedbugs and almost certainly mice (yes, not just in the plateau!).

A one bedroom even in those neighborhoods will cost you upwards of 900, unless you get extremely lucky and nab a lease transfer.

Montreal isn't what it was even 5 years ago, rent wise.

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40 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

He said a one bedroom. A cheap studio in a cheap neighborhood? Sure. But then you're dealing with a landlord who won't fix the heat when it breaks, potentially bedbugs and almost certainly mice (yes, not just in the plateau!).

A one bedroom even in those neighborhoods will cost you upwards of 900, unless you get extremely lucky and nab a lease transfer.

Montreal isn't what it was even 5 years ago, rent wise.

2.5 IS a one bedroom. Or are you referring to a 3.5, aka one closed bedroom? Studio is a 1.5. Christ, my 3.5 in the plateau was 750 (including utilities) and it was no slum building. Last I heard, he was charging 875. 

I've lived in NDG, Cote des Neiges, Ville Marie, LaSalle, and the like. It is very possible to find good places for lower rent. Just leave the McGill bubble.

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1 hour ago, artsydork said:

2.5 IS a one bedroom. Or are you referring to a 3.5, aka one closed bedroom? Studio is a 1.5. Christ, my 3.5 in the plateau was 750 (including utilities) and it was no slum building. Last I heard, he was charging 875. 

I've lived in NDG, Cote des Neiges, Ville Marie, LaSalle, and the like. It is very possible to find good places for lower rent. Just leave the McGill bubble.

Maybe you had connections I didn't, but I've lived in two different areas in Montreal over the last 4 years, and it was extremely difficult to stay under 1000 without roommates.

Granted, I was plateau and Atwater, but that's why I've discounted to 800 or so. 

If you look at Craig's list or kijiji it can help give a rough snapshot of what the market looks like right now.

But anyway this is all getting off track. I'm just saying that graduating McGill 3.5, even working big law, you won't be graduating debt free.

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18 hours ago, jjbean said:

How is this possible? Can you provide a breakdown? 

Sure. As an articling student I think I made in the neighborhood of $55k gross, and then as a duty counsel I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of $80k gross (a little less when I started, a touch over now). I was a 2.5 year call when it all got paid off.

I pay approximately half of my take home pay to my debts each month - typically that was around $2000 a month or so for the first year or two, it was $2500-$3000 a month the last year or so. I also put any income tax returns I had towards it and basically every other cent I got (no windfalls, but maybe I got $100 for a birthday gift, etc.). I always lived alone with no roommates but I didn't have a car, I'd walk or take public transit to work. I don't have a family (just a cat!) or a mortgage as I rent because I've bounced around cities a bit finding work. I also don't have expensive hobbies - I largely read, watch Netflix/Amazon Prime, and do yoga, all of which are free except the monthly yoga membership. I did take, I think, 2 vacations during my debt repayments years, and moved 3 times after law school so I also had to pay for that (moved cities too, not intercity moves).

Frankly I view it as a matter of priorities. I live somewhat frugally in terms of big expenses - no car, no mortgage, not a ton of vacations, no expensive hobbies, I don't tend to eat out a lot or go to bars, etc. I've always been pretty frugal with my money and hate being in debt so getting out of debt is basically my biggest financial priority right now. 

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