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
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 🙂 )