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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May 2018 Financial Update

A good month of spending…

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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.

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I’m a Cold-Blooded Bastard.

And why I don’t lend money.

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It was 11:00PM on a Friday and I heard a ping on my phone. Swiping up to see the notifications, a message from an old friend, one I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 4 years.

“Hey man, I’m having some cash flow issues. I’m hoping I can borrow $50 to get to work tomorrow and park. I’ll have a paycheck to pay you back on the 18th.”

Continue reading “I’m a Cold-Blooded Bastard.”

The Math Supporting Living with Roommates

But it’s always just temporary.

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I lied awake one night staring at the ceiling. Here I am, 28 going on 29, lying on an my lowly Ikea futon bed, listening to my early 20-something year old roommate blast music just outside my door and hoping that miraculously the landlord will maybe turn up the heat so the apartment isn’t so cold.

At the time, I muttered to myself: “What is my life? I have a good job, I’m getting older, and here I am in this dingy apartment dealing with this.”

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My depression over trying to reach FIRE.

Why I haven’t felt 100% these past few weeks.

I’ve been feeling low the past few weeks and I didn’t know why at first. Everything was going fine: new job was chugging alone just fine, my savings rate increased up to 15% with the salary increase, I was eating significantly healthier, and family and social life remained strong. Yet, for whatever reason, I couldn’t shake a little feeling in my body that what my life was up to wasn’t good enough.

Continue reading “My depression over trying to reach FIRE.”