In Vancouver, there can be so much to do but so little time. And in such an expensive city, it certainly can be hard on our wallets.
However, no worries, we've got your back. There are some amazing and unique resources catered for Vancouverites that will make your life both easier and better.
Make use of these 15 legit and easy life hacks and save time and money:
Photo cred - @moreprofice
1. Get a Vancouver Inspiration Card
The Vancouver Inspiration Pass is a free cultural and recreational pass that gives you free access to dozens of events, attractions, and activities in Vancouver. All you need to sign up is a Vancouver library card, which is you can also get for free. The program aims to help Vancouver citizens explore the best of the city and increase community engagement. Free attractions with the pass include Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Garden, Vancouver Aquarium, Science World, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
2. Use Drink Owl to find Drink Specials and Happy Hours
Seamlessly find the closest drink specials, happy hours, and coupons near you. Drink Owl is a mobile app that gives you the scoop on specials and happy hours in the city – you'll know first. Never pay full price for a sangria again.
3. Know your rights as a tenant
You have legal rights as a tenant and you should learn about your rights so that you aren't taken advantage of. Don't be mislead into paying extra fees. Free info for renters is available here.
4. Know the student discounts
Many stores and restaurants in Vancouver offer discounts as long as you present a student card. Sura, Topshop, The Hot Box Yoga, and Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden are just some of the many places that offer discounts to students. The SPC Card is also a great discount loyalty card.
5. Use Groupon and Living Social
Online coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social offer crazy good discounts for restaurants, gyms, hair salons, spas, and more. Click here for a list of unreal deals you can use this summer!
Photo cred - @evocarshare
6. Car share
Awesome car sharing services like Evo and Car2Go only charge 41 cents per minute. If you split that with your friends you could be paying so little for a ride! Way cheaper than a taxi. Evo even has a bike and ski/snowboard rack. These cars can be parked for free in any designated spots, residential or permit only spots within the "home zone".
7. Download the BestParking App
Parking can be a huge expense in Vancouver and finding good, free parking is not always easy. Use the BestParking app and you'll no longer waste time and gas scouring the streets for parking. BestParking is a parking search engine that helps you find the cheapest and most convenient parking around you and in over a 100 cities across North America.
8. Go to the movies on Tuesdays
All BC Cineplex movie theatres charge only $7.50 for a general admission ticket on Tuesdays, as opposed to the usual $12.99 fee. Scene members (membership is free) even get an extra 10% off Tuesday prices. Many other theatres do a Tuesday deal as well, such as Landmark Theatres.
Photo cred - @mintapp
9. Use free financial planning tools like Mint.com
Managing finances on top of everything else can be tricky but this is where Mint, a free and safe financial management service comes in. Mint.com can help you see where all of your spending goes and lets you track your spending. It shows how much you spend in each category, such as food, entertainment, clothing, etc through easy to read charts. It helps create a personalized budget and reminds you when your bills are due. The mobile app version is also available for Apple, Android, and Window devices.
10. Take advantage of free events and activities in Vancouver
Even though Vancouver is an expensive city, there are still plenty of ways to make the most of your student experience without spending much. Click here for a list of date ideas that will cost you nothing. Here is a list of free things to do in July.
11. Use GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas
Gas can be very expensive in Vancouver. GasBuddy is a free app that helps you save money by comparing the prices of the gas stations and finding the cheapest gas near you or you can search up an area anywhere in North America to compare. You can also help out others by reporting or confirming the prices of gas stations nearby and then you'll have a chance to win free gas.
Photo cred - @justeat_yvr
12. Use DoorDash or JustEat
Don't have time to cook or to go out to eat? Feeling like staying in for a cozy night with Netflix? There's an app for that. Food delivery services like DoorDash and JustEat bring the food from your favourite restaurants right to you with the tap of a finger. The food prices are the same and delivery is a small fee.
13. Use Redflagdeals
Redflagdeals.com is the tool to seamlessly see all the best deals for hundreds of stores across Canada in one place. You'll find out about tons of deals for major Vancouver stores and online retailers that you didn't even know about. Deals for stores include Lululemon, Sephora, Amazon, IKEA, Costco, and more. There is also a mobile app available.
14. Use website/social media blockers like Self Control and StayFocusd
Social media and the Internet can be a huge distraction when working or studying. When you can't exert self control, there's an app for that. Self Control for Mac is free and completely blocks out the distracting websites you choose for however long you want.
15. Do Psychology Studies
When you have an hour or two to spare and want to easily make some extra cash, you can take part in the many psychology studies offered by most BC universities. For example, here is the mailing list for paid psych studies at UBC and here is SFU's. Many studies aren't limited to university students.
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