July 2018 Financial Update

A good month of saving!

July net worth

July wrapping up means summer is basically halfway done – depressing right?

The month was basically business as usual, although I saved a lot more because my girlfriend is across the country for the next 2 months on a summer gig, which means zero dating expenses. It’s bittersweet, I guess?

Overall, I spent $2095.69 this month for a solid 67.85% savings rate. Passive income for the month also hit an all-time high for me, which was great.

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Tax Lessons for the Canadian Upper Middle Class

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I want to start by saying I don’t feel rich. Yes, I know, a six figure salary technically puts me in the upper middle class, but with its high cost of living in the City of Toronto, it’s hard to feel that way. Just to define that relative to Ontario, upper middle class is any single income earner with an income over $108,000.

I also acknowledge the more I make, the more I’m expected to pay in terms of tax. I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly or be so progressively punishing across all other forms of income.

So let’s talk about that today: tax on the upper middle class. I think tax can be a good thing (after all, I am a public servant myself), but we should all still strive for a level of tax efficiency, just like we would when it comes to any other form of spending. Continue reading “Tax Lessons for the Canadian Upper Middle Class”

The Appalling Cost of a Suit.

And why it was worth it.

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This suit is the third most expensive thing I’ve ever bought. Also: I was playing croquet at a wedding.

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.

Continue reading “The Appalling Cost of a Suit.”

June 2018 Financial Update

Chugging along, as always…

May 2018

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!

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Renting in the City: What a $1860/month “deal” gets you in Toronto

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Toronto City Hall… a space ship looking building.

Toronto is a notoriously expensive city. Rents are highest in the country, just after Vancouver. It’s getting so bad, even New Yorkers who move North for a better life are complaining.

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)

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The Bicycle Rookie

A first-time cyclist in the big city.

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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’“.

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Blogging: One Year Later

I made it!

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It’s officially been one year since I started blogging here on Stretching My Money. Did I think I’d make it this far? Definitely not. But here I am, one year later!

In that time, I’ve written about many things, ranging from net worth updates, travel, favourite board games, and even our mortality. Who says personal finance blogs can venture into new territory?

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:

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