Yuppies in Toronto


I love Toronto, my home town.

But it’s so bloody expensive there!

I read this recent article about the cost of living in Toronto for young professionals, and it’s scary how accurate it is. If Martin and I lived in Toronto (which was the original plan), we’d easily spend the quoted $2.6K per month to live in a condo, with no car, for a single person. Since we are frugal though, I think we could pay attention and get by on $3.5K for 2 people.

Martin and I don’t track our expenses, but we estimate that we spend about 1.7K EUR ($2.5K) per month living near Düsseldorf (one of the richest cities in Germany), and that includes living in a nice flat in a good area, driving a BMW, travelling often, and buying local/organic/free trade groceries. While we are more frugal than everyone else we know around us, we are still embarrassed to live such rich-yuppie lifestyles and are trying to cut back.

And cut back we will once we move to Niederrhein. Our expenses will drop to ~1.4K EUR ($2K) per month. Even that sounds high to me, but we probably do end up spending that much when we spread our travel costs over the year. (I’m not including my new freelancing costs, or Martin’s alternative treatments)

If I stayed in Toronto, I would still find this FIRE lifestyle, but it would take me longer to save enough to FIRE.

Now I get to FIRE earlier (hopefully!), while living a much more interesting life. Not that people in Toronto don’t live interesting lives, but after spending my entire life there, I was pretty bored with myself. I wanted to see something new.

Then I came here and felt really out of place and wanted to go back! But that’s another story.

I would still love to spend time in Toronto when I FIRE, just cuz it always feels like *home*. If my freelancing career takes off, I may not even have to wait until I FIRE!


6 thoughts on “Yuppies in Toronto

  1. It certainly is expensive to live in big cities like Toronto – to be honest I’m surprised that it’s that “cheap”!

    Only $2k per month is a great result for your own expenses, especially given that it includes rent. That’s what MMM spends with a child too so it has to be doable for two adults if you’re committed enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That $2.6K is a very conservative estimate, and is a getting-by amount rather than an all- inclusive amount. The author assumes someone rents, never travels, never goes shopping for non-groceries, no car, and only spends $300 per month on drinks and eating out (way below average for Toronto’s going out culture). Judging by how my friends live, they are spending much more than $2.6K since they own property, drive nice cars, wear nice clothes, and eat out/travel a lot. I think they get desensitized on how much they are spending because their mortgages are so high and everyone else around them is also spending that much to live.

      MMM is inspirational (he’s also from Toronto!) and I aspire to live like him but without the big house. I think our $2K per month is okay, but there is room for improvement. Mainly because our consumption rate is still too high, which makes me feel guilty since I liken myself to be environmentally conscious.


  2. Though we still live in a high cost-of-living area, we found that we save a lot by not living in the city anymore — they are just expensive by design! The amounts you’re talking about are super impressive, though! Kudos to you both for living well on so little!

    Liked by 1 person

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