A Week In Rural Ontario On A $42,276 Income

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Today: an administrator working in car sales who makes $42,276 per year and spends some of her money this week on diapers.
Occupation: Administrator
Industry: Car Sales
Age: 33
Location: Ontario
Salary: $35,700
Paycheque Amount (Biweekly): $1,120 (more if I work overtime)
Child Benefit (Monthly): $548
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $767 (This includes property taxes. I bought the house on my own.)
House Insurance: $69.10
Car Insurance: $89.92
Life Insurance: $17.46
Gas: $230
Phone: $55.92
Internet: $53.37 (for my half)
Netflix: $13.99
Savings: $50 ($17 goes into a mad money stash and $33 into a fund for a bathroom reno.)
RESP for the baby: $170

Day One

7:45 a.m. — The baby slept in, so that means D. and I get to sleep in, too. We lounge in bed for 10 mins before starting the day, then D. makes coffee while I entertain Babe with his favourite, Cheerios!
9:50 a.m. — D. puts Babe down for a nap, while I run into town to get ingredients for dishes we're taking to the potluck for my bestie's mom's birthday. The grocery store isn't nearly as busy as I thought it would be on a Sunday. I get radishes, cucumbers, sour cream, a half pound of summer sausage, cream cheese, pickles, ranch dressing mix, and a salad to share for lunch. The total comes to $50.97, but I use $40 in points. $10.97
12:15 p.m. — We have the salad for lunch and add some pizza breadsticks, which Babe likes. I prep a salad and summer sausage roll ups for the potluck, then have a nap with Babe, even though I still have things to do. The rest feels good, so I know my body needs it.
3:40 p.m. — Party time. It's great to see my friend R. whom I don't get to see enough. Her youngest girl keeps Babe entertained with peek-a-boos while we chat about life and how much we miss each other, and promise to get together for a catch-up soon.
5:15 p.m. — Pot luck supper. There is enough to feed an army, and Babe is liking the veggie rice and potatoes. It's great to see all the people; the only one missing is my bestie who lives in the States and can't make it up. After everything is cleaned up, it's time to pack up and head home.
8:25 p.m. — We take a walk around the neighbourhood with Doggo, then it's bath and bedtime for Babe. Once he's in bed, D. and I chill in front of the boob tube. I'm still stuffed from the pot luck, so I don't munch on anything like I would normally.
10:15 p.m. We go to bed, and Doggo curls up at our feet as always.
Daily Total: $10.97

Day Two

2:15 a.m. — The baby is up and his nose is all stuffed up. We're waiting on a referral to an ear, nose, and throat doctor, but for now he just needs a cuddle. He's back to sleep after a few snuggles. I crawl back into bed and, thankfully, go right back to sleep.
5:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off, I jump in the shower, and make a mental note to price out a waterproof bluetooth speaker to make getting up easier.
6 a.m. — I toast an English muffin while frying turkey bacon and slicing a tomato from our garden. It's delish and so are its many, many tomato cousins, which will become pasta sauce soon. I eat breakfast while watching Parenthood. This is my quiet time before D. and Babe wake up. Then I get ready. My hair is curly, so I must use a leave-in treatment or I cannot get a comb through it. I also use aloe jelly and Skin Restore Oil from Plant Therapy on my face once or twice a week to help with acne scarring from my teens...heck, my 20s...okay, my 30s as well. I finish with foundation and mascara. I've gotta pick up more foundation on my way home tonight because I'm scraping the bottom of this one.
7:05 a.m. — I feed Babe before getting dressed, then pack my lunch and head out the door to work. D. was in a car accident a few years ago and is only back to work part-time, so he watches Babe most days.
7:35 a.m. — I arrive at the dealership and do my morning jobs before we open. My desk-mate is off, so everything falls on me while she's gone. So far, it has been just busy enough to keep me out of trouble but not so busy that I fall behind on work.
12 p.m. — It's lunch time, and am I starving. But first, I drop off two boxes of baby clothes that Babe has outgrown at the consignment shop. Ohhh, the emotions! But I hope to gain some moola once they sell.
12:30 p.m. — I usually eat my lunch in my vehicle, where I get another moment of me-time. This week, I made a bistro-style lunch box as there are no Starbucks anywhere near our little rural town. I have a turkey pepperette, cheese cubes, celery, radishes (also from our garden), cucumbers, and mini baguette bites. It's quiet, and I am undisturbed so I read my book The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey.
5 p.m. — I drive to the drug store to get foundation ($13.40) and the eczema wash ($38.82) that our pediatric dermatologist has recommended for Babe. The last bottle made a huge difference, so I don't care how much it costs. $52.22
5:48 p.m. — I walk in the door to Babe holding his hands up, wanting me to pick him up. Awwww, I love my Babe! D. started mushroom and wild rice soup, and it's almost ready. I pop garlic toast in the oven. Sitting down for family supper is one of my favourite times of day, which surprises me because we used to eat in front of the TV before Babe (bad, I know).
6:20 p.m. — We walk around the village with Babe and Doggo. Usually, we must stop and "talk" to his doggie friends, but tonight there is no one else out and about.
8:30 p.m. — Babe is asleep, and I do the dishes, then we watch an episode of The Walking Dead.
10 p.m. I oil cleanse my face, which always feels like a little facial, and head off to bed.
Daily Total: $52.22

Day Three

5:30 a.m. — Babe slept through the night! I get up, shower, and start my morning quiet time with peanut butter on an English muffin and raspberries. Am I the only one who loves the way the peanut butter melts into the nooks and crannies of an English muffin?
6:25 a.m. — I get ready for work and pack the leftover soup for lunch. (It's kinda turned into a casserole from the rice absorbing all the broth.)
10:20 a.m. — Time for work errands: I go to the bank and do the licensing for the new vehicles customers are picking up today. Sometimes, I go to the licence bureau a couple of times a day. (Yes, I go to the DMV multiple times in a day!) But since we are located in a small town, the lines are never really long, and the women who work there are great.
12 p.m. — Lunch couldn't have come soon enough! After I eat, I buy a box of diapers for Babe. $36.80
5:05 p.m. — There's a mandatory work meeting, and it's in my best interest to go because it involves a Q&A for the new work pension plan. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity for a pension and I'm way less confused about how it all works after the meeting. Now I just need to figure out what percentage I can afford to contribute (my employer will be matching all contributions).
6:40 p.m. — I walk in the door and play with Babe. He's starting to stand up against the furniture this week, and I couldn't be a prouder mama! He has a benign condition that causes low muscle tone. He'll be delayed in meeting his motor skills milestones and he tires easily when doing physical tasks, but he's doing physical therapy and progressing leaps and bounds.
8:25 p.m. — Babe is in bed, and I do the dishes (no dishwasher for us; never had one). D. cleans up the living room, while I throw in laundry. I always do laundry after 7 p.m. because the hydro is cheaper.
9 p.m. — I call my dad to talk about my pension options, and he says we'll crunch some numbers to see how much is best for me to start contributing. D. and I watch an episode of Alaska: The Last Frontier. We always say Of course we could be homesteaders. But yeah right! I'm way too lazy.
10:15 p.m.— I go to bed after my nightly oil cleanse routine.
Daily Total: $36.80

Day Four

5:30 a.m. — Babe slept through the night again! (Does a happy dance in the shower... Wait, please don't picture that.) Quiet time with the same English muffin, peanut butter, and raspberries, along with Parenthood. Then I get ready for work: foundation, mascara, pack my lunch.
7 a.m. — I feed Babe, then run out the door. I live in a tiny village about a 20-minute drive from the town I work in. There is literally no public transportation anywhere near our house, so I drive my beat-up truck every day.
7:25 a.m. — I do my morning tasks, then send a couple of our guys to pick up a new vehicle at another dealership a few hours away.
12 p.m. — Same imitation bistro box as before (turkey pepperette, cheese cubes, celery, the last of our garden radishes, cucumbers, and mini baguette bites). I stop at the grocery store for milk, yogurt, bread, mushrooms, onion, bananas, green peppers, sour cream, lettuce, and pico de gallo. I've strayed this week from taking things out of the freezer for supper, so tacos tonight are spur of the moment. $37.96
5 p.m. — Urgh, that afternoon went by sooooo slow. I had only one errand to run so I couldn't even escape the office for long.
5:25 p.m. — I carry the groceries into the house and give Babe and D. kisses. D. has started the ground venison. He's a hunter, so we have a freezer full of ground venison and roasts. I know haters will comment on this subject, but D. follows the rules and regulations for conservation while hunting, and we don't have to purchase much, if any, red meat throughout the year.
6:30 p.m. — We do our nightly stroll through town. We stop and talk to our neighbours down the street. I've been friends with them since we were babies. That's the joy of a small town —  I've known everyone for ages.
8:25 p.m. — After Babe goes to bed, I go shopping à la Amazon Prime. I purchase a set of large stacking blocks for Babe and a new wallet for D. I'm going to fill the wallet with family pictures as a gift. $56.86
10 p.m. — I crawl into bed, and Doggo curls up on my feet and instantly starts snoring.
Daily Total: $94.82

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — I hit snooze. I don't know why, but my body is saying NO to the morning wake-up call.
6:15 a.m.— So apparently since I don't snooze my alarm, like ever, I didn't actually snooze it. I turned it off and fell back asleep. Good thing I have Babe as a backup alarm. I do dry shampoo and makeup, then feed Babe. My mom walks in the door just as D. is walking out for work. She recently retired and insists on watching Babe at least two days a week. I'm an only child, and Babe will be one as well, so she loves to dote over her only grandbaby! I'm out the door with an apple in hand for breakfast.
7:35 a.m. — Morning tasks take longer than they should, and then I'm off to the bank and running errands. One perk of working at a car dealership is driving different cars to run errands. I used to feel nervous about driving vehicles that aren't mine — and are worth more than I make in a year — but I got used to it.
12:15 p.m. — I'm by myself in the front office today so lunch is at my desk: leftover taco fixings in salad form. I always take a bite just before the phone rings.
5:40 p.m. — My mom has thrown one of my homemade freezer lasagnas in the oven, and my dad joins us for supper.
6:30 p.m. — We all walk around the town with Doggo.
7:30 p.m. — After Babe is sleeping, I sort through some things in our spare room a.k.a. the forgotten room where things get hidden when company comes over. I need to declutter, and even though I don't go full-on Marie Kondo, I make a small dent in the junk we don't need anymore. I plan on having a local charity shop come and pick it all up once I am done. Then I'm in bed and out like a light.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

5:30 a.m. — I drag myself out of bed for shower and breakfast quiet time. Babe was up in the night, and it took a bit for him to go down again. Growth spurt? D. wakes up and eats breakfast with me before leaving for work.
6:40 a.m. — My mom arrives as Babe is waking up, so I get ready while she feeds him.
10:00 a.m. — Once a week, there are doughnuts in the office. I have one and I throw $2 in the collection jar. It's payday, so I log into online banking and take care of some bills. D. and I have separate bank accounts with different banks. Even though we have been together for 14 years, live together, and have Babe, we are still not sure how best to consolidate our money. For now, we just pay bills from our separate accounts. It's an ongoing conversation, and I think we'll eventually make set contributions to a joint account and pay for all shared expenses out of it. $2
12:30 p.m. — I'm eating at my desk again, but I'm getting a lot accomplished when no one else is here to ask me to "do them a favour."
5:15 p.m. — I pick up pizza because I always bring home supper on payday. It's such good pizza we don't even mind that it's cooled by the time I drive home. Oh, the joys of living in the middle of nowhere. $35.55
6:30 p.m. — We switch it up and take Doggo to a nearby dog park. He runs around like crazy, smelling all the dog smells, while Babe laughs at him. A couple of his dog friends come by with their humans, and we have a nice visit.
8:30 p.m. — After Babe is in bed, we settle down for some Netflix. I open a bottle of wine and a bag of chippies; D. grabs a beer. A warning pops up on our TV, saying that Netflix will stop streaming through our Wii next month. So, as we're watching Netflix, I go online and order a Fire TV Stick ($54.71). I'm kind of excited because now I will be able to watch Amazon Prime on the TV instead of on my tablet. I also add a cute bath toy ($5.45) for Babe to my order. $60.16
10:45 p.m. — I get ready for bed, soaking up the fact that I don't have to work tomorrow. Before Babe, I worked every Saturday to save moola. But now that I'm back from mat leave, I only work every other Saturday.
Daily Total: $97.71

Day Seven

6:20 a.m. — Oh, the joys of motherhood. My day starts off not much later than a work day. I bring Babe into bed with us to ease into the morning. After a few snuggles, we are up and the coffee is brewing.
8:15 a.m. — My friend T. picks me up for yoga. She introduced me to this instructor who recently moved to the area and teaches yoga out of her house. I love her style and the casual atmosphere. I drop $10 in a basket at the door and pick a spot for our mats. Usually, we stay for a coffee and chat after yoga, but T. has to take her daughter to riding lessons today. $10
12:15 p.m. — After a quick grilled cheese, Babe and I have a nap. How I love Saturdays! D. drives into town to get a part for his truck, and I ask him to pick up munchies for tonight.
3 p.m. — D. gets back from the grocery store, and I give him money for the munchies because I like them more than he does. He goes out to work on his truck, while Babe and I play inside. Dinner is barbecue chicken naan pizza, and I prep the toppings. $11.61
6:20 p.m. — After we get supper cleaned up, we're out for our walk. We run into a few of our neighbours along the way, so of course we stop and do the small-talk thing. As an introvert, I hate this, but everyone is nice, so it's not too draining.
8:35 p.m. — Babe is in bed and a load of laundry is started. I put on the newest Jurassic World, which I borrowed from the library. I strongly urge others to use their local libraries. They have so much to offer, they're budget-friendly, and the service is good. D. breaks out the munchies and two glasses of wine.
Daily Total: $21.61
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