I lectured in a university accounting seminar a few months ago for a cohort of graduate students from all academic fields. Some were PhD candidates, others pursuing MFAs, MAs, MScs – the gamut.
Afterwards, I was approached by several of the students in the course asking for my card. Their intentions were clear: they wanted to network and I was happy to oblige. After all, today’s job market seems to be all about who you know, and I exhausted other prospective employers with my desire to network when I was younger. So I had to pay it forward, of course!
I walked out of a store on Friday after having just spent $750 on a suit. Your reaction will either be: a) That’s peanuts, we know that a really great suit should cost you about $2000, or b) Holy hell, that’s a lot.
If you’re in category B, this article is for you because it’s certainly how I felt. If you’re in category A, your values are clearly different than mine.
June is when spending can get dicey – the weather turns favourably warm, patio season is in full swing, and I probably crave ice cream or beer (two terrible things for me) almost daily.
Fortunately, I had my best month of the year so far in terms of spending, dishing out $2,167.28 this month, courtesy of two nice highlights.
Firstly, I switched cell phone providers and now have a $0.00 phone bill until December thanks to over $380 in credits. I also spent ZERO dollars on transit this month due to the BikeShare system, which I wrote about here. If it weren’t for attending a friend’s wedding and my apartment requiring tenant insurance all of a sudden, I would’ve been sub-$2000 easily.
Either way, my savings rate for the month was 63% and even better: my net worth jumped over $5000!
Rent payments are almost an afterthought – every month, money gets deducted from my bank account and I’m forced to accept it. Still, when I read in that article that average rents for a one-bedroom condo had soared to over $2200, I gasped at the misfortune of my fellow Torontonians.
Now, recall that $2200 is on average. That means some people are paying more. Some people are paying less. I fall in the category of paying less than that – substantially less on a “great deal” of a place.
So let’s talk about that: what does living in Toronto on a “deal” actually get you. I have a strange feeling some readers will still be appalled based on how much our apartment costs even though my neighbours might consider it a steal. (Note: we moved in fall 2016)
Biking. That thing that some people take up naturally, zipping through city streets with confidence and efficiency. It’s one of those things a lot of frugal folk can’t help but extoll the virtues of, Mr. Money Moustache included with his post of “What Do You Mean ‘You Don’t Have a Bike’“.
In that time, I have personal favourite posts that resonated with many of you, and others that didn’t. But heck – this is my anniversary so I’m going to list my favourite posts from the past year, regardless of the number of views:
Remember how last month I bought a $722 suit? Well, this month I bought a pair of $300 Allen Edmonds shoes and then some. More on why later in this post. The girlfriend and I also splurged on several dates and a camping trip with friends.
The spending this month was $2634.12 for a savings rate of 55.31%. The biggest observation I’ve made since I started my higher paying job has been an increase in spending. As much as I mentally committed to keeping expenses the same, frankly my actions have proven otherwise. Still, on an overall basis for the year my savings rate sits at 59.52% and should only increase with reduced paycheck deductions (Canadian Pension Plan & Employment Insurance deductions stop after the first $55,900) and a 3 paycheck month coming in August.
My net worth also jumped almost $4000! The power of saving is awesome.