Moving Downtown & Apartment Budgets

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I briefly mentioned in previous posts that I will be moving out of my basement apartment soon.  I am really excited!  I have been living in my current basement apartment for almost 4 years, and I have really enjoyed my time here.  My landlord and landlady are really kind and caring people who have treated me like a grand daughter, and I am very grateful.

In the 4 years living in my apartment, I have been able to save a lot of money and have been able to build up my networth, while also allowing myself to indulge in some travel and the occasional shopping.  I have a lot of space which I share with a roommate and it’s a nice, quiet and safe neighborhood.

Why I’m Making the Move

The main reason I am moving downtown is purely for fun – I’ve always wanted to live downtown downtown.  Where I can walk everywhere and just soak in the city.  I know it doesn’t really make financial sense – in terms of saving money on housing/rent – but it’s something I want to do when I am still young.

To be able to make this move a little more wallet friendly, my sister and I will be sharing a 2 bedroom apartment.  This way, we can both live in a great location and share the burden of rent.  I’ve given up my car (again!), and I’m going to walk or bike to as many places as possible to save on transit costs.  My sister is an awesome cook and I foresee lots of cooking together and spending time together 🙂

Another reason I wanted to move downtown was to have a bit of change in my life.  With BF moving to Boston for his MBA, I wanted to do something a little exciting for myself, as well, and this is a little treat for me.

Let’s talk Numbers

The PF blogger in be is both excited and nervous about this part.  So, I put together a preliminary budget comparing my budgets for my current basement apartment and my new downtown apartment.

I took my average annual spending from 2010 and 2011 (that’s why I love tracking my expenses – real raw data!!), and broke them down to monthly averages.  Then, I took my best guess at what my anticipated expenses would be when I moved downtown.

Much of my savings will be in giving up my car.  The bold red font are discretionary items that may need to be tweaked as needed.  All in all  – it’s not too bad, although I’d love to have my annual expenses be around $20,000 total, and I still want to be saving at 50% of my take-home pay.

Readers, have you lived downtown before?  What are some frugal tips you’d like to share about living fabulously and frugally downtown?



Filed under Budget, Finance

18 responses to “Moving Downtown & Apartment Budgets

  1. I’ve always lived downtown, and I think it saves lots of money. You can walk everywhere (rather than getting cabs home late at night) which saves money all over the place. As a non-driver, I could never live too far from the downtown core – plus, that’s usually where some of the best independent shops are located (which isn’t necessarily a frugal thing, but definitely a fabulous thing). Enjoy!

  2. Would you mind share how you manage with $115 – $125 per month for groceries, like what is your menu like? I normally set my grocery budget for $150/month but I have gone over it practically every single month (anywhere from $175 to $225).

    • Cait

      Yea, that seems crazy cheap! I’m paying at least $200/month for groceries in Victoria and found Toronto to be much more expensive. Would love to know how you do it!

      • Hi Cait and SRL,

        I usually shop at Asian grocery stores and I find that really cuts down the bill. Veggies and fruits are usually way cheaper there – although some may go bad more quickly, so be careful.

        I also save money on my grocery bill by scoping out the clearance racks – usually I can get a lot of produce for fairly cheap – but I also have to cook them right away. I also buy cheaper cuts of meat and save the good stuff for a special occasion, or stock up on sales in my freezer.

        I also try to keep a stocked pantry whenever non-perishables go on sale and kinda keep a mental index of cheap prices, so I don’t just buy randomly. For instance, I love Europe’s Best Frozen Fruits, but I only get them on the really good sales ~$3 a bag, and I buy enough for a few months. 🙂

        I hope that helps!

  3. belowhermeans

    Keep your fridge stocked! It will be tempting to dine out a lot.

  4. Good for you! I think it’s worth the increase in living expenses for the experience of city living.

  5. I agree with belowhermeans.

    Keep that fridge stocked, and snacks on hand. It is TOO EASY to pop down for some sushi because you’re tired….

  6. Living downtown is a great way to save on transportation! You may spend more on rent, but it is awesome being right where everything’s going on. I must third Mochi and Belowhermeans, it’s so easy to drop into a fast food place and grab something on your way home, but it seems like your sister being a great cook will help mitigate that!

    When do you move? I’m about to move at the end of the month and I have about a million post ideas for it. Moving is the worst, but it’s not so bad when you’re doing it to improve your life!

  7. The Asian Pear

    Although I’ve never lived downtown, all I can say is get a bike for the spring-fall. Get a metropass in the winter. Buy groceries in Chinatown. And whatever you do, don’t fall for the convenience of convenience stores. They charge a heft buck!

  8. That sounds really fun! I’d like to live with a sibling. I was going to say get a roommate, but it looks like you got that one down. It’s going to be so fun being with your sister, exploring together, and also cooking together!

  9. I live very close to downtown and it’s not cheap but I absolutely wouldn’t move anywhere else! I love being able to bus or walk everywhere. My BF lived downtown downtown a while back and it was a bit too much downtown for my liking, plus he lived in a tiny bachelor, no thanks. That’s so awesome, it’s gonna be such a great experience for you!

  10. Kay

    Are you giving up your cellphone??
    Will you be getting a TTC monthly pass?
    Did you find a similar grocery store commutable onTTC or bike from your new location..

    Living downtown is fun!! I lived pretty clsoe to downtown, but I do miss not living there when I was younger.

    • I just got a work phone which I am also able to use for personal use, so I won’t be needing my cellphone, anymore. I will also be walking or biking as much as I can and have allowed for some occasional tokens and GO tickets to visit my family.

  11. Lea

    We just bought a house and moved, but previously, we were right downtown and I loved it. I hated the thought of moving out of the downtown area so much that we actually bought a house very close to the centre, so we can still enjoy some of the perks. You’ll love being able to walk/bike everywhere.

    I’m wondering the same thing as Kay – did you give up your cell phone?

    I would also watch the eating out part – it’s so easy to indulge when there are so many great restaurants around!

    • I love walking and biking everywhere. I also have a work phone which I can use for personal use.

      Restaurants will be my weakness and I really need to keep a tight lid on that! It’s so easy to grab something!

  12. I LOVE living downtown. Every time I move out of downtown I regret it and end up moving back 🙂

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