PF Confession: Why my Rent is $315

I get asked by readers and commenters how my rent can be so cheap living in the City (aka Toronto).

Here’s Why

  • I live in a basement apartment, and I share it with one other roommate.
  • My apartment is located on the outskirts of the City.
  • I ‘m renting this apartment through a family friend.
  • It takes me about an hour of public transportation to get downtown.
  • I live about 7km from work.  Enough said.

I hope that kind of explains why my rent is so cheap.  I am by no means living a lavish lifestyle in the City, and only paying $315 in rent – though that would be nice.  I know I am getting a great deal.  Though if I didn’t have this friend connection, I’d be paying closer to $375 – $450 a month.

What my Rent Includes

I’m really lucky that my rent includes everything that I need:

  • Internet (it’s slow, and combined we only have 2GB!)
  • Hydro and all utilities
  • Washing machine & dryer

When I first moved in, my landlord and landlady did not have or use a dryer, so I got a little drying rack and hung everything out to dry.  In the winter, I hang things in the furnace room (I know, it could be a fire hazard, but it dries in nickity split!), and in the summer, I dry things outdoors (love the smell of sunshine).   After my room mate moved in, we got  a dryer to share, though I don’t usually use it.

Why I Live Here

I would like to own my home one day, but I’m not sure when that is.  When I do buy my own home, I’d like to be able to put as big a down payment as possible.  Also, I’m not ready for the responsibilities of home owner ship at the moment.  There are also other priorities, such as possible further education and living a more carefree life.

I also don’t spend a lot of time at home, so for now, my home is mainly a place to sleep, unwind, and cook.  Right now, it serves it’s purpose, and I get to save my money for the future.

I hope that explains my rent and why I choose to live there.  It’s nothing fancy, and I don’t plan to stay here forever, but I think it’s the perfect option right now.

How about you?  Why do you choose to live where you live?




Filed under Personal, PF Confession

17 responses to “PF Confession: Why my Rent is $315

  1. I choose to live with the BF’s parents because like you I LOVE saving money. Rent here in SoCal is outrageous! A 1 bedroom apartment is basically $1500 and does not include utilities. I would be spending my entire month’s worth salary on rent myself and I wouldn’t be able to save. The BF’s parents are also very generous and they practically beg us to stay. They cook for us and it’s actually nice to have some company each day.

  2. I live at home with my parents because living in NYC is not a joke. It also doesn’t hurt that Mom makes food for me nearly everyday and that my parents are the best landlords in the world. I had a shower leak and the next day it was fixed! The downside is my 1.5 hour commute to work/city as well as the fact that I live in a basement. Really, the ventilation isn’t the best. Currently, rent includes the electric bill and the cellphone bill. These two max are $380. I’m saving so much money that anytime I have second thoughts about moving out, rationality quickly kicks in.

    • I remember visiting some friends in NYC who lived in Soho, and it was outrageous. They were paying $1500 EACH to share a (very cramped) 3 bedroom apartment.

      I would live with my parents if I lived in NYC, too. Money saved is money earned 🙂

  3. Kim

    I live in downtown Toronto. I split a rent of $1600 with my bf. Everything is included in my rent except phone bills. My rent is a significant part of my monthly take-home income (almost 25%). Having read your story it makes me feel bad about spending so much on rent, but I guess it’s a luxury I choose to pay for. I try to make myself feel better by telling myself that otherwise, I’d have to shell out more than $100 per month on a metropass anyway. I think for the rent we’re paying, we could find a pretty big place just a bit outside the downtown core. For now I am ok with my rent as it is within walking distance to everything, but in the longer run I’d like to find a bigger place with the bf, which will probably entail moving further away.

    I used to live on the outskirts of the city, and it’s such a drastic difference in terms of better air quality, more quietness and serenity when compared to downtown. I really miss that.

    • This post wasn’t meant to make anyone feel bad, Kim. It’s just to explain where I’m coming from.

      I kind of cheat, because BF lives in Toronto, and when I stay over, I still get a taste of living in the city, without the rent. 😉 And I LOVE living in the city, I’m jealous of everything being in walking distance of you!

  4. Kayla

    I would love to have a $315 monthly rent. Right now I live just outside downtown Calgary in a house shared with two other people, and I pay $500 every month. It includes everything: all utilities, wireless internet, there’s a washer and dryer, not to mention my car gets its own spot in the double car garage. I have a feeling my roommate (the one that owns the house) doesn’t pay anything in rent because my other roommate and myself pay enough to cover (it’s an old 1940s house and it’s small-ish, but big enough for the three of us).

    I looked at many other places that were cheaper than this house, but I ultimately chose it because I felt that $500 was a good price for what I was getting. The house is old, but it’s nice. Two bathrooms for three of us, my room is really warm, my car never gets snowed or iced on cause it’s in the garage, it’s a full kitchen, the washer and dryer are HE ones, and the living room and dining room are massive. The people I live with are nice, and we are not cramped at all. I looked at other places that were around what you’re paying, but it didn’t include utilities, or it was a three-bedroom apartment but there were four of us living there. Or the house just wasn’t as nice.

    Even though I am extremely keen on saving as much as possible, when it comes to living, I don’t want to live in a place I don’t truly LIKE to live in, just to save an extra $200 a month.

    I would easily live in the place you are right now, for only $315! It does sound like the perfect option for you right now just like you said. 🙂

    • I think that $500 is super reasonable. And you’re right, it’s hard to find good room mates and land lords.

      I got lucky on both fronts at my current place, as well. But I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories, and that’s another reason I stay, as well. I don’t want to be bothered with figuring it all out, again.

  5. I pay just over double what you do, but I step out of my apartment complex and onto one of the most central & busiest intersections in the whole city. I’m mere meters away from local shops and bars, the grocery store is across the street, the farmers market a few blocks away. I’m less than one block from the train station which is only two stops from campus, giving me the shorter commute ever — I actually walk or bike in the summers! Rent includes all utilities (and we have dishwasher, washer, dryer) plus Internet and cable. My roommate owns the condo, and I just rent one room from her. It’s probably the smallest room in the world, but all the perks of a good location and the reality that sometimes it’s REALLY hard to find a good roommate make it worth the price.

    • That’s amazing, if I could snag a place that just double my current rent and in the middle of a the city, I would do it – even if it meant living in a shoe box. That would also help me get rid of some of my stuff, too.

      Agreed on the roommate. It’s really hard to find a good one. So, that’s why I’m holding onto mine!

  6. I pay $250 a fortnight. I live in the suburbs (always have – CBD apartment life is not for me) on the bottom floor of the LL’s house with the BF. I’d say it’s less than 5k from work – about 15 minutes on the bus, slower in traffic/peak hour. It’s the most central I’ve ever lived; until now I had always lived out in the central west suburbs but I got sick of the hour-long, one way bus ride.

    • Fortnight – I love that term!

      Hour long bus rides are no fun – and so draining. I used to commute like that and it was tough. I think that 30 min is a maximum for me. More than that, and it’s get draining. If you think about it, it’s 5 hours a week wasted…

  7. I’m really lucky that I’m able to live at home with my parents. When I finished school I knew I wanted to get out of the city, and I was really lucky that I found a job within driving distance from the homestead. Renting around here is almost impossible, there’s just not a lot of rental places available and those that are, offer waaaay more space than 1 single person needs. By living at home, I’ve been able to save up for a down-payment on a place of my own too!

    • That’s great. I’m glad that you found something to work for you.

      It takes me almost 2 hours to commute via public transportation from my parents’ home. Each way. Enough said.

      And I like the freedom of living on my own. I’ve lived on my own since college, and it’s hard to go back. But I could get used to it (maybe) if I had to.

  8. i pay 1173 a month for my own 1 bedroom. i chose to pay this much as i had some terrible house mate experiences and i live interstate so i dont have the luxury of staying with my family. i decided my sanity out weighs a higher saving account.

  9. I live in a house in the city. We pay almost $300 a week for mortgage which includes taxes and homeowners insurance. Before we lived in a small town and paid about $400 a month for all this, but it wasn’t the best fit for my family and we traveled a lot to go places. Our house is in a moderate priced older neighborhood, but is close to a lot of great things. The size is just perfect for us and I wouldn’t want any bigger. The bad part to owning a house is that if we move we have to sell the house which could take a long time in this economy. We also have to contest if we think our taxes are too high and repair everything ourselves. I think since I have kids it is worth it, but if I was single I’m sure I would rent.

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