A Week In The Greater Toronto Area, ON, On A $198,590 Joint Income

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Today: a government auditor on mat leave who has a $198,590 joint income and spends some of her money this week on a bead maze for her baby.
Occupation: Auditor
Industry: Government
Age: 34
Location: Greater Toronto Area, ON
My Income: $58,590 (I usually make $63,000 a year, but I'm on month 13 of an 18-month extended parental leave. For the first 12 months, my employer offered a top-up, which combined with EI, gave me 93% of my salary.)
My Husband's Salary: $140,000
Our Net Worth: $825,000 (We bought our house in 2015 for $550,000, and we have two rental properties: one townhouse, which we bought for $400,000 in 2012 and lived in until we moved into our current house, and one apartment that we bought in 2017 for $100,000. The mortgage amount for all three properties is around $900,000. Combined, they're worth at least $1.5 million now. We also have savings of $200,000, an RRSP worth $30,000, and our daughter's RESP, which has $5,000 in it right now).
Debt: None other than the $900,000 for our mortgages.
Parental Leave Amount (2x/month): $636 (My employer top-up ended, so I'm just bringing in EI cheques for the next few months until I go back to work.)
My Husband's Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $5,833
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses
Mortgages: $3,000 (This includes utilities, property taxes, and insurance. We chose not to defer our mortgage payments during COVID-19, because my husband and both of our tenants are still employed, so we're still able to cover our mortgages on the rental properties, which are $2,626 per month. Along with property taxes and maintenance costs, we break even with a rental income of $3,000 per month.)
Netflix: $16.99 (My parents and brother use it.)
Prime: $80
Phone: $17 (My husband's phone is covered by work. I recently downgraded my phone plan to 250 MB data and 100 mins a month. I originally did it because I was travelling, but now that I'm home all the time, I don't need a bigger plan.)
Health & Dental Benefits: $10 (They're covered by work, but I pay a little extra for a plan that includes private hospital rooms.)
Car Insurance: $423 (for two vehicles)
Disability Insurance: $19.64
RRSP: $520 (I'm only putting in $20 a month right now. C. is putting the other $500, and we make lump-sum payments at the end of year as needed to bring his tax bracket down.)
TFSA: $60
RESP: $165
Charitable Donations: $60

Day One

9:30 a.m. — I wake up at the same time as M., my 13-month-old. I change her diaper and get ready for the day, leaving the bathroom door open, so I can keep an eye on her. She crawls in and seems happy I let her in. My husband, C., has been working since 8 a.m. He's always worked from home, so COVID-19 hasn't affected his work life that much.
10 a.m. — I bring M. downstairs and make a bottle of formula, which she drinks while we FaceTime with my family. M. and I were on a six-month visit with them, back home in Bangladesh, when the COVID-19 crisis hit. C. was supposed to join us for a couple of months, and we would've all come back together, but his flight was cancelled, and M. and I recently had to come back on a chartered flight organized by the Canadian embassy, which cost us $7,500. My parents miss M. terribly, so I always make time to call them.
11 a.m. — I have leftover rice and chicken I made two days ago. It tastes horrible, but I can't make myself throw it out. M. grabs at my plate and nibbles, while I message my friend on Facebook. She read Trevor Noah's Born A Crime and highly recommends it, so I download a sample for my iPad.
11:30 a.m. — I do a 30-minute Team Body Project workout on YouTube. I recommend these videos for people who are scared to work out. Two months after giving birth, I weighed about 200 pounds. So far, I've lost 20 pounds, and I'm looking to lose another 10 or so.
12 p.m. — M. becomes fussy and sleepy. I bring her up to our bedroom with her bottle (we bed-share). She doesn't want to sleep, so I let her play with the toys I keep in our bedroom while I fold and put away our laundry and make our bed. She poops, so I change her diaper, then try to read the sample, but M. keeps interrupting me — as soon as she realizes my focus isn't on her, she pounces on my iPad. I snack on a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and she finally falls asleep around 2 p.m. I finish the Born A Crime sample and buy the full ebook. $5.64
3:30 p.m. — I eat an egg-and-cheese sandwich and share a coffee from Tims with C. I missed Tims while I was away. I also have a Reese's cup and a fun-size Oh Henry! Baby M. is still sleeping (hell ya!), so I continue reading Born a Crime.
4 p.m. — M. wakes up, and we cuddle. She poops again, so I change her diaper and put her in a new onesie. I bring her downstairs and give her half a banana, which she smears all over her tray and herself. In the meantime, I unload and load the dishwasher. C. was supposed to pick up groceries I ordered at Superstore, but he's tied up with work, so he'll be late getting them. C. mostly ate out while M. and I were gone, and we just got back, so our shelves are barren. I tell him that I won't cook tonight, because we don't have much food. We chat about his work, and he's pretty stressed right now. I soaked some black chana daal yesterday, so I put it on the stove to boil and give M. a mini bath at the kitchen sink, because she has banana all over her. I change her onesie and let her play with books while I sit down to write this diary. She likes to “read.” We're both reading today.
6 p.m. — C. goes to pick up groceries. I give M. an arrowroot biscuit and make myself an Earl Grey tea and check the e-receipt from Superstore, which lists the items they weren't able to provide. I make a short list of necessities and text it to C. Hopefully he can find them at No Frills.
7 p.m. — C. is home with the groceries, including bagels, garlic bread, fruit, pasta sauce, dates, frozen vegetables and fruit, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, coffee, hummus, crackers, and lentils. The total comes to $221.32, which is a bit higher than usual because our fridge and pantry were bare. He also picked up frozen pizza bread with chicken and caramelized onions from Shoppers for dinner ($2.99) We have it with clementines, hummus, and crackers, and it's quite yummy. Baby M. tries everything, so I'm happy. $224.31
8:30 p.m. — After dinner, hubby catches up on Burden of Truth on Netflix for 30 mins and then goes back to work. I go through our receipts and submit them on Checkout 51, a cash-back app for groceries and gas. I earn $0.75. I'm not consistent in using it, but I'm trying to be better. I send in a request for a $20 cash out.

9 p.m. — I clean up M.'s toys and turn on the Roomba to do its thing, then wash her up from dinner, apply lotion, change her into a nighttime diaper, and put on her pajamas. She gets a bottle of formula and falls asleep almost immediately. I take a shower and slather my face in argan oil from The Ordinary, then continue reading my book.

2 a.m. — I finish the book! It was a great read — so informative and fast-paced.

Daily Total: $229.95

Day Two

8 a.m. — I wake up, but baby M. is still sleeping. If I get out of bed, she'll wake up, too, so I fiddle around on my phone. Today is officially the end of our mandatory post-travel quarantine time, and I plan to take M. out for a stroll today if the weather is nice.
9:30 a.m. — M. wakes up, and we cuddle. After getting ready, I make her pancakes with banana and eggs, and she only nibbles at them. I FaceTime with the parents while M. drinks formula.
12:30 p.m. — Lunch is garlic bread, chicken sausage, and arugula with ranch dressing. I also offer M. hummus and crackers, which she gobbles up.
2 p.m. — My doctor calls for M.'s one-year check-in. We chat about M.'s eating habits, if she's crawling, and if she's naming things (no, not yet). The doctor suggests I get First 100 Words, a book to help build her vocabulary, and gives me a couple of tips to talk to M. She tells me that the receptionist will call to set up an in-person appointment for M.'s shots.
2:30 p.m. — M. poops and has milk. She's kinda sleepy, but C. comes in and tells me he's craving chicken wings, so we all take a drive to a halal butcher in Mississauga. M. throws a fit at first, because she hasn't ridden in a car since we got back two weeks ago, and she's not used to her car seat. She calms down eventually, and C. buys 14 chicken wings and two whole curried chickens broken down into pieces, while M. and I stay in the car. $45.32

3:30 p.m. — We get home, and I take M. upstairs to nap. She doesn't feel sleepy anymore, so we head back downstairs. Hubby has baked the chicken wings, and we eat them while M. plays.

5 p.m. — I start cooking lentil curry, chicken curry with potatoes, and fried eggplant. All these will be eaten with rice. C. gives M. a bath while I finish cooking and cleaning.

7 p.m. — M. devours the rice and lentils. She must be missing my mom's cooking. I don't like to cook Deshi cuisine, because it takes too long, it's messy, and you end up smelling like spices. But it looks like I will have to do more of it for her.
8 p.m. — It's bedtime for M. After fussing, she eventually falls asleep.

9 p.m. — I order the book her doctor recommended on Amazon, along with a Melissa & Doug bead maze ($29.73), then I watch Nadiya's Time To Eat on Netflix. Maybe I will pick up some quick dinner ideas. $29.73

11:30 p.m. — We are almost out of toilet paper, so I order some on Amazon. $18.07

Daily Total: $93.12

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — Baby M. is up early today. We head downstairs, and I make her a cheese omelette, plus an omelette with mushrooms and spring onions for C. and I. M. barely touches hers, so I make her a bottle. She's not interested in drinking either. We FaceTime with the parents.
11:30 a.m. — I do a Yoga with Adrienne video on YouTube: day one of her Home series. M. loves it when I do yoga and climbs all over me.
1 p.m. — I make rice balls for M. and hide egg pieces inside them, which she finds on the first bite but eats anyway, followed by clementines. Mom win! I eat rice and lentils for lunch.
2 p.m. — I bring M. upstairs for a diaper change and bottle. She drinks 10 ounces today; this girl is hungry! She finally falls asleep, and I lay with her until 4 p.m., when she wakes up in a bad mood. It's nice out, so C. and I put M. in her stroller and take a walk around our neighbourhood. It feels so good! We walk to Timmies, too, and share a coffee. M. gets one Timbit and loves it. $2.85
5 p.m. — I prepare snacks for C. and I, while M. eats eggs and defrosted paratha for dinner.
6 p.m. — I hang out with M. while C. cleans up after her dinner. Baby-led weaning creates a HUGE mess.
8 p.m. — I clean up the sink and kitchen counters and put in a load of laundry. M. poops, so I clean her up and take her to bed. C. plays Age of Empires with his university friends online, while I stay in bed and fiddle around on Netflix. I snack on two Reese's cups.

Daily Total: $2.85

Day Four

9 a.m. — M. wakes up, and I'm too tired to cook her breakfast. I give her formula, and she's happy to devour it. I FaceTime with the parents, then have coffee with a bagel and tuna salad.
3 p.m. — It's family nap time! We sleep until 6 p.m. I call that a win!
6 p.m. — C. put up a listing on Facebook marketplace to sell my car. I drive a beat-up Mazda3 with about 300,000 kilometres on it, and he drives a two-door Hyundai Genesis that's not kid-friendly, so we're hoping to sell mine and buy a family vehicle. A guy comes to test drive it, and we agree to sell it for $2,000. He puts a $300 deposit down and will come back next week to pick it up. M. gets a snack of frozen waffles with cream cheese and yogurt. She's doing well with food today.

7 p.m. — C. makes lamb liver curry and rice for dinner.
9 p.m. — Bedtime with M. I watch a couple of episodes of Upload before falling asleep.

Daily Total: $0

Day Five

9:30 a.m. — M. is up. I give her a fried egg and waffles with butter and maple syrup for breakfast. She barely touches it, so I eat the waffle while she goes for formula instead. We FaceTime with my parents, and I have leftover tuna salad with crackers.

12:30 p.m. — C. and I decide to go to a small town nearby for a walk. I pack up M.'s things (formula, diapers, extra clothes, toys), and I put on kohl eyeliner and lipstick and my pearl earrings (a gift from C. this past Valentine's Day). We pick up lunch from a shawarma joint on the way out: chicken shawarma for me, beef shawarma for C., and fries for M., plus a can of Coke for C. and I to share. $23.54
1:30 p.m. — We find a quiet place next to the waterfront and have our lunch. M. seems happy to be outside. The sun is shining, the breeze is nice, and the water is crystal clear. There are lots of people around, but everyone is maintaining social distance.

4 p.m. — On the way home, we drop by a Indian grocery store for ginger paste, garlic paste, Rooh Afza, moong daal, and EveryDay whitener for milk tea ($55). I get home, change M.'s diaper, and cook while C. gives M. apples, hummus, and crackers.
5:30 p.m. — I'm finished making shrimp and spinach, chana, and rainbow trout in an Asian-inspired sauce with Brussels sprouts and rice. C. and I have tea, and he finishes the leftover shawarma, while I snack on hummus and crackers and apples. We also eat chana with puffed rice, then C. vacuums, and I use a Swiffer WetJet to quick mop. I'm tired, so I vegetate on the couch with Upload, while C. plays Age of Empires, and M. hangs out. $55

8 p.m. — C. and M. have rice and spinach shrimp, and I have a yummy smoothie with banana, frozen mango, chia seeds, peanut butter, greens, and milk. We clean up, and I take M. upstairs to bed.
9 p.m. — She falls asleep with her bottle, and I watch Upload.

Daily Total: $78.54

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — M. is up! A bit too early for my taste. She gets formula in bed, because I don't want to fight over breakfast.
10 a.m. — M. gets yogurt and Cheerios, while I have coffee.
11 a.m. — I make hash browns and a bagel sandwich with an egg and cheese.
12 p.m. — For lunch, I make chicken meatballs from scratch and pasta. M. only licks the pasta sauce, so I give her watermelon, which she loves.

5 p.m. — M. didn't nap today, and I'm feeling it. It's not easy to entertain a 13-month-old all the time.
6:30 p.m. — I make an easy dinner of cheese and ground chicken on garlic bread. C. and M. both love it.
7:30 p.m. — M. is in zombie mode from lack of sleep, so we take her to bed, and she falls asleep around 8 p.m.
8:30 p.m. — I start reading By Chance Alone by Max Eisen, CBC's 2019 Canada Reads winner. I've been reading the winning books for the last couple of years, and this is a good one.
2 a.m. — Too sleepy to read anymore.

Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

9 a.m. — M. is awoken by the doorbell at 9 a.m. I hired people through the Eden landscaping and snow removal app to clean up the backyard for summer, and they're here. The two guys work for an hour or so, and the backyard is in great shape when they leave. $241
12 p.m. — We have leftover pasta and meatballs for lunch, and M. does better with the food today.
2 p.m. — M. takes a nap while I finish By Chance Alone. The author survived the Holocaust because of the people who helped him along the way, which makes me think about how we're all connected and how we must each do our part and be compassionate. The book is quite relevant in the time of COVID-19.
5 p.m. — We test drive a 2015 Lexus RX 350 to see if it could be our new family vehicle. It's pretty good.

6 p.m. — On the way home, we pick up dinner from a takeout Pakistani kabab place: chicken tikka, and Bihari boti band sheesh kabab with paratha. $34.89

8 p.m. — C. bathes M. and gets her ready for bed, while I clean up downstairs.
9 p.m. — After M. is sleeping, I shower and slather my feet in coconut oil and watch Never Have I Ever until I fall asleep.

Daily Total: $275.89

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