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My Fixed Expenses

I spend under 20k/year to live. How about you?
Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash
Last Updated: May 2020

If there is one thing I'm certain of, it's that I have one of the lowest annual expenses in Canada. Period. I spend exactly $16,415.28 to live! If I am that certain that my expenses are so low in comparison to the average Canadian, than I am that certain that I can accurately show you how I spend my money and what we both value doesn't come at a high cost that forces everyone else to work until 40, 50, 60, 70+. 

Before you get skeptical, keep in mind I'm writing as a taxpayer, a homeowner, a husband, a father, a driver and everything else you and I have come to enjoy living a luxurious middle-class life - a.k.a. the Canadian Dream. I'm just like you.


Below you'll find the fixed expenses in my life - fixed being anything I (or my spouse) buy at least once annually and will need to do so for the rest of our foreseeable futures. We don't include discretionary because it's impossible to budget for us. We don't want to be tied down by a "going out budget"... we like to just go out and be mindful of our spending. Keep reading if you're interested in how this all works or skip and head straight to the juicy details below.

Our discretionary budget is mostly hypothetical to be honest yet we do have one golden rule: we must save AT LEAST 50% of our net income. Here's some real numbers to help you think about it:

Combined Net Income: $95,000
Mandatory Savings: $47,500
The Fixed Expenses: $16,415.28
Imaginary Discretionary Budget: $31,084.72 - Wow that was way more than we need!

We typically spend less than $300/month on extras such as take-out food or gifts. Any unspent discretionary money goes to investments to make us even more money in the future... and then eventually FIRE. Pretty awesome philosophy, huh?

Enjoy reading below, email me any questions or comments. I respond to everybody!

You can email me here: canadianfire1@gmail.com


Ryan Myricks



The Fixed Expenses

- costs are calculated monthly
- every monthly cost you see is averaged out over a year. For example, utilities will of course fluctuate depending on the season so the monthly cost swings from $140 to $250

 Total: $1,367.94       Annual: $16,415.28

  • Kitchener Detached 1200sqft: $547.65
    • Kitchener Property Taxes: $233.90
    • Kitchener Utilities (all 3): $199.22
    • The Cooperators Insurance: $62.55
    • Fido Internet: $45.2
    • Water Softener Salt: $6.78
  • Food: $330.41
    • First Adult: $150 $1.64/meal on avg 
    • Second Adult: $150 $1.64/meal on avg 
    • Child: $30.41 $1/meal on avg 
  • Child: $230.85
    • 1 Child, 2 years old - I expect these costs will go up as I begin to enroll her in community programs such as gymnastics or swimming.
    • Huggies Diapers & Wipes: $30.85
    • Childcare: $200 - Only once/week on Friday's for us. My wife works the conventional Mon-Fri but I have a job that's only Fri-Sat-Sun. So one day a week we use Childcare and sometimes Uber as needed.
  • 2012 Toyota Corolla: $214.75
    • Bought used to cash so no payments
    • Fuel Costs: $3.56 (108.28)
    • Insurance: $2.93 (89.12)
    • Maintenance: $0.56 (17.03)
    • Licence Plate Sticker: $0.32 (10)
    • Misc: $37.5
      • Spotify Music Streaming: $0.49 (15) - I share this family account with a few family members - in return I get access to Netflix and Disney+ for free.
      • Professional Certificate Fee: $0.41 (12.5)
      • Hygiene: $0.32 (10) 
    • Phone Plans: $6.78
      • Public Mobile Plan #1: $0 - Thanks to my readers for providing me with enough referrals to eliminate this expense entirely!!
      • Public Mobile Plan #2: $6.78 - Again, greatly reduced due to thoughtful readers using my referral code. Thank you again :)
    • Banking: $0
      • Tangerine Chequing: no fees
      • Rogers Elite Mastercard: no fees
      • Wealthsimple Trade TFSA: no fees
      • Wealthsimple Trade RRSP: no fees

      Comments

      1. I love your plan it will be really neat to see it all in one place.

        Its also cool to see what you count as fixed expenses verses not. It seems like everyone does it differently. Like some include their mortgage payment because it has to come out every month, and some don’t because the house will be paid off eventually and it will go away then. Others also include their sinking fund like for major house repairs, or newer car/major car repair ($17 isn’t going to cover a new transmission).

        Thank you for putting yourself out there. Now to “geek out” run my comparisons and see if i can do better.

        Happy fi

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thanks for your replies! I included anything that is a recurring annual (or more frequent) expense. Replacing a transmission is thankfully not common, so I don't factor it into my FIRE number.

          Since the home I'm paying off will likely retain its value and the money won't disappear, I don't consider it an expense. The interest and taxes and whatnot of course are. However, I don't consider the value of my house in my FIRE number calculations because it pays me nothing. If I was smart, I would get it to pay me something - such as hosting international students like Chrissy from eatsleepbreathefi.com

          Delete
      2. Also it would be interesting to see how you guys get your food that low?!

        Is your eating out on your variable side? Or is that included? Since you will eat out eventually.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I don't include dining out - that is discretionary and doesn't commonly occur. I just checked my credit card statement and the last time we had a meal out was August 17th, so almost 6 weeks ago.

          The food budget is low because we buy in bulk, batch cook several meals at once for leftovers, drink water/tea/coffee almost exclusively, and count the amount of calories going in and out. There's a lot of "start up" cost to eating this way but it's worth it because it leads to excellent meal planning and time management (which in turn is good for your wallet!).

          Delete
        2. Only looking at groceries my family (2 adults 2 children) spends about 600 a month and we do all the things you are doing.

          Do you eat meat / dairy / fresh fruits and vegetables?

          I can see about $50/month of fat in our monthly food budget that are things we pay a premium for but beyond that I would need to start cutting the 3 categories above.

          Delete
        3. If you do everything I do then you either shop for more expensive products than me or your family consumes more than I do. Seeing as how my child is 1.5 years old, she's not really a financial burden.

          Yes, we eat all 3 you mentioned. We use frozen meat, fruits and veggies when those items will be cooked (changing the composition makes these just as edible as fresh). I will say my local Zher's loves to price 3lbs of apples at $7/bag for some reason. When they jack up the prices, I simply go without apples until I'm near a Wal-Mart or other discount store with apples on for $1-2/lb. Using the Flipp app can make this easier.

          Delete
      3. wow that's impressive! We are also have 2 adults, one toddler family (living in Van) and our expenses easily double yours and we don't even own a car and have cheap housing cost as we are currently house sitting. Hats off to you and thank you for sharing your stats. It's so good to see great examples of what one can achieve and be inspired to do better!

        would love more in future posts about how you manage to keep your spending so low.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you so much Justine! I'm thinking of talking more about this on my podcast, Exploreficanada.ca. I suppose it'll make sense to also post here about it too - even if it's just the transcript of what I say on the air! Great suggestion, thanks again!

          Delete
      4. Hey Ryan,

        It was nice to meet you at the get-together at Victoria Park.

        I'm happy to see my fixed expenses are quite similar to yours. I'm around $14800/year. And although I don't have a wife or child, I have a roommate which helps pay the bills. This brings my fixed expenses down to $8300/year. Glad to see I'm on the right track.

        Do you have any tips for getting the property tax lower? I pay $272/month for a house I'd assume is very similar to yours (3bed 2-storey, single garage, 30ft lot). When Mpac gave me the reassessment, I disputed it, which they lowered it a bit, but it still seems high.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Hey Cor- I mean, "Anon"....

          I think "On the right track" is an understatement. You're doing stellar.

          As for lowering property taxes, haven't a clue. Figured it's a bill you pay and that's that.

          Btw, nice job on the BBQ!

          Delete
        2. Haha thanks. I think I'm developing an addiction to garbage picking. I've found myself perusing my neighbours curbs for treasures the past few garbage days. Ended up selling a few things on Kijiji for a few extra bucks, and found a nice side table for my front porch.
          I have no shame lol.

          Delete

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