A New Week In The Life

by Mr. Cheap

After a lively discussion broke out in my “About” section where Money Gardener and Four Pillars were shocked at how cheap Mr. Cheap really is, I figured it might be time to update my cost of living calculations.

My monthly fixed costs are the same:
Rent – $440 (half of $880 rent paid by gf on 1 bedroom apt)
Cable – $40
VOIP – $22.45
locker – $12.50
phone+internet – $40.25
transit pass – $99.25
Cleaning – $45
Total: $699.45

I’ve been carrying around a notebook with me and writing down every time I buy something. I enter this into an Excel spreadsheet at night and track my average daily spending (and multiply this out to estimate my variable spending on a monthly basis). I’ve severely tightened up my food spending (I bring my lunches to work now, have started shopping at No Frills, and am taking my girlfriend out for dinner a lot less). I’m spending around $14 / day on food (~$420 / month). Additional spending accounted for about $6 / day ($180 / month).

Added together, my monthly cost of living seems to be around $1300.

These are obviously estimates, not a hard and fast budget. I purchased my ticket to NY before I changed my eating habits, so this level of spending basically assumes no travel (I expect my “daily spending” will shoot up after the NY trip). With a little work I think I *may* be able to get my food spending down a bit (I’m hoping to hit the $60 / week that the “average” single male supposedly spends).

What does welfare pay a single man in Ontario? My girlfriend and I guessed around $800 (we were both wondering how my level of spending would compare to people on social assistance :-) )

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous

Your wife is going to love us :-).

2

Money Gardener started it! :)

You and ThickenMyWallet have inspired me to look at our food budget and see if we can try to lower it a bit.

Mike

3 Anonymous

Kevin: Not really. The $1,300 / month is in pre-tax dollars. I’ve tried to take tax burden into account for my passive income / retirement planning there’s still a few issues I need to get a better handle on (e.g. what exactly the tax implications will be for my investment property).

4

I don’t know how the welfare system works or what the payouts are. However, the maximum benefit from Employment Insurance is $423/ week. EI is taxable income so that number would drop significantly.

Have you taken into account your tax burden in your cost of living?

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