Another week in the life

by Mr. Cheap

I’ve been tracking my daily spending (basically every time I buy anything I make a note in a notebook I carry around with me. As mentioned, I’m spending far more then I thought I was, especially on food.

I’ve tracked spending from May 7th to May 26th I seem to be spending on average $54.49 per day ($21.93 of that on food). My big purchase for the last few weeks was a plane ticket to New York (for $440). Adding in my monthly fixed costs of $695 (rent, internet and whatnot), it looks like I’m spending around $2,352.40 / month, or $28,228.85 / year.

My “annual” food spending of $8004.45 is about the same as the average Canadian HOUSEHOLD spending on food (8,035 in 2005 for Toronto), so I think there’s definitely room for improvement.

On the other hand, I’m very frugal in other areas (in the last 3 weeks I’ve spent $24 on entertainment).

In theory, if you accept that you can live off of 4% of your savings indefinitey in retirement, I’d need $705,721.25 to retire on, which seems awfully high. People often say they want 1 million to retire on, and that’s considered too high a sum (and I usually think my spending is lower compared to most people).

In a future post I’m going to try to estimate what my current “passive income” is, considering my investment condo (which arguably isn’t so passive) and my dividends. I’m also going to start trying to cut back on food spending (I shopped at “No Frills” today, and it acutally *IS* cheaper, at least for bananas, yogurt and no-name pop, three things I checked). If I can start making and taking my own lunches (and eat at home at night), I think I could dramatically lower my cost of living.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1

How do you spend so much on food? Do you eat out a lot?

by the way – u should add an RSS feed to this blog.

2 Anonymous

Truth be told I’m not sure… I eat out almost every day, but not at super-expensive places (every day at work I get a foot-long sub at Subway for $7.17 – man do I wish they’d bring back the free-sub stamp thing). Sometimes I’ll eat out twice a day (lunch and then dinner). I like taking my girlfriend out for yummy Thai food or going out for dinner with friends occasionally (usually runs around $40-50 – I’m off for Dim Sum with some friends today).

Occasionally when I shop at the grocery store I guess I buy more expensive things (TV dinners, $3 Yogurts, etc, etc). I was at No-Frills yesterday and was shocked at how much cheap a lot of the things I buy were).

I really didn’t realize I was spending so much though. Everyone I’ve mentioned this to has been equally shocked (and like you, asked how I was spending so much). I definitely need to start cutting back.

3

4P: Any idea how much do you spend on a typical lunch / dinner? How often do you eat out?

4

One thing to keep in mind is that you are comparing 2005 prices to the present day spending. Costs always go up, not to mention inflation. But even given that, your food spending does seem to be high. I would recommend eating at home more, packng lunches to work, eating out for one meal only a day (you said that you sometimes eat out at lunch and dinner). Also, restaurants vary in price, so I don’t know if you are eating at fancy restaurants other times, and bringing up your food expenses. On the other hand, if your big luxury in life is eating out and you tend not to spend too much on other luxuries, then maybe it is okay in the end. Just my two cents!

5

You’re definitely right, prices do go up, so I’d have to factor in inflation if I wanted to seriously compare myself to the Stats Canada information.

I don’t really think of Subway as too fancy, but I guess every day it adds up…

Dim sum yesterday was $50 for 4 people (again, not too expensive I don’t think).

6

4P: I added links to the feeds on my sidebar, thanks for the suggestion!

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