A Week In Toronto, ON, On A $190,657 Joint Income

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Today: a policy advisor working in public service who has a $190,657 joint income and spends some of her money this week on altering an old bridesmaid dress.
Occupation: Policy Advisor
Industry: Public Service
Age: 31
Location: Toronto, ON
My Salary: $90,657
My Fiancé's Salary: $100,000
My Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,201.16
My Fiancé's Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,600
Gender Identity: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,730 (For a one-bedroom, plus den, including parking and a storage locker. My fiancé and I split this total and major household expenses.)
Student Loans: $0 (My parents paid for my undergraduate degree, and my grandfather paid for my Master's degree.)
Hydro: $60
Car Insurance: $199.39
Renters Insurance: $51.84 (This total also includes coverage for my engagement ring.)
Cable & Internet: $95.62
Financial Advisor: $35 (We meet with our advisor on a quarterly basis, and she also files our tax returns.)
Costco Membership: $0 (Thanks, mom and dad!)
Phone: $116.39
Netflix: $13.99
Spotify: $9.99
Gym Membership: $157.07 (It's expensive but keeps me motivated.)
Pension: $296 (matched by my employer)
Savings: $1,000 (For our wedding, honeymoon, and down payment on our first home. I currently have $88,599 saved. C. has his own savings for the same goals.)
Tax-Free Savings: $300 (I currently have $7,819 saved.)
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Annual Expenses
RRSP: TBD (I'll wait until the end of the year to determine how much I should invest to lower my tax bracket. I currently have $26,180 saved.)

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I took a shower last night after the gym and fell asleep with wet hair, so it's doing this funky wave thing that I don't hate. I pour myself a coffee out of the pot my fiancé, C., made when he got up. I do my skincare routine, which consists of: Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser, three serums from The Ordinary (Buffet + Copper Peptides, Marine Hyaluronics, and Argireline Solution 10%), NIOD Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate, and Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer. Then I do makeup: NARS tinted moisturizer, concealer, setting powder, and blush, followed by Anastasia eyebrow pencil and L'Oreal mascara.
7:30 a.m. — I heat up a piece of leftover quiche and settle in front of the TV to watch the news and eat my breakfast. C. leaves before I wake up, so mornings are my alone time. I make the bed, start the dishwasher, and get dressed for work.
7:50 a.m. — I fill up my travel mug with the last of the coffee, and I'm out the door. I get on the streetcar, tap my preloaded Presto card, and snag a seat. I read 3 Women by Lisa Taddeo and pause every so often to scroll Instagram.
8:30 a.m. — I drop my bag at my desk, fill up my water bottle, and settle into work with my coffee.
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12:30 p.m. — There weren't enough leftovers from last night's dinner to take to work, so I go get an arugula salad. The leftovers always go to C. because he only gets a strict 30 minutes to eat, and there aren't any places for him to buy food on the job site. $10.79
1:45 p.m. — I grab the last few pieces of dark chocolate I have stashed in my desk. I also remember to take my multivitamin, which doesn't happen often.
2:30 p.m. — A friend at my old job IMs me with major work drama. I started my current job about two weeks ago. At my old job, I was in management. I loved the people and the work, but the hours were taking a serious toll on me, both mentally and physically. I took the position I'm in now for work-life balance, which so far has been successful. I do miss my old job, though. The work was interesting, and all my friends are there.
4:30 p.m. — It's POURING. I realize I haven't brought my emergency umbrella to the new office yet, so I put my cardigan over my head and sprint to the subway. It's completely packed, so I wait for a second train to squeeze my way on. The streetcar is even worse.
5:30 p.m. — When I finally walk in the door, I'm greeted by C. He has been home for almost two hours. He does a physically demanding job, so he tries to nap after work. In my previous job, I wouldn't get home until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m., and we'd go days without seeing each other, aside from when I would crawl into bed late at night.
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5:45 p.m. — I make chicken fajitas. When they're ready, C. and I eat at our dining table and talk. I'm big on eating at the table. This was always my parents' rule when I was growing up, and I'm glad we've kept the tradition going.
7 p.m. — C. finishes the dishes, and we settle on the couch. We watch the movie Road to Perdition, and we both like it. We also split the last piece of red velvet cake leftover in the fridge from my bridal shower on the weekend. We're getting married in my hometown next spring, and C.'s family was so sweet to host a small shower for me in the city.
9:30 p.m. — I brush my teeth and do my nighttime skincare routine, which is the exact same as my morning routine, except I take off my makeup first with micellar water and finish off with a Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. C. and I cuddle in bed before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $10.79

Day Two

6:15 a.m. — I'm up before my alarm, because I really, really have to pee! Since I'm already out of bed, I shower (I only wash my hair every three days unless I have a specific event), make my coffee, turn on the news, and do my skincare and makeup routines. I also dry shampoo my hair and throw it into a ponytail. For breakfast, I have an over-easy egg with Taco Bell hot sauce (you can buy bottles of it in the States, and I'm obsessed) and a banana. Then I get dressed for work, and pack my lunch and travel coffee.
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7:45 a.m. — I grab my umbrella, because it's raining again (did it ever stop?) and dash out the door to catch the streetcar, which is luckily just pulling up! I snag a seat and read my book.
10:30 a.m. — This morning is dragging. I eat red grapes that were supposed to be for my afternoon snack.
12 p.m. — I walk to Indigo on my lunch break to get a birthday card for my bestie who lives in the U.K. I have an obsession with cards, which I totally get from my dad. He's the best at finding the perfect card that seems to have been made just for the person receiving it. Who doesn't love getting a card in the mail as opposed to the usual bills and junk mail? $6.72
12:15 p.m. — Next, I swing by the grocery store in search of desk-snack inspiration. I settle on mint dark chocolate (my favourite), cheddar Goldfish crackers, and a mini bag of sea salt chips. $9.24
12:30 p.m. — I'm back in the office, and I heat up the chicken fajitas from last night. I also refill my water bottle and settle back into work.
2:15 p.m. — I have two pieces of the mint dark chocolate and refill my water bottle.
3 p.m. — A card gets circulated for a coworker who is having a baby. The office is throwing her a shower next week, and I sign the card and put $5 towards the gift. $5
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4:30 p.m. — I pack up for the day and catch the subway home. I call my parents when I get on the streetcar. I'm close with them, so I usually call them every other day, if not everyday.
5:15 p.m. — I get home and C. has school tonight, so I take my time getting dinner together. I make roasted red pepper and shrimp pasta. While I cook, I pour a glass of French white wine my mom recommended (she prides herself on finding great vintages for under $20). After dinner, I watch a few episodes of Suits while enjoying my solo time.
8:30 p.m. — C. is home! I immediately turn on the Leafs game, because it's the home opener. He's a die-hard fan (poor guy), so I do my best to play the supportive fiancé role throughout the season.
10 p.m. — THE LEAFS WIN! Bedtime.
Daily Total: $20.96

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — You know the drill. Today's breakfast is whole-wheat toast with half a mashed avocado.
8:30 a.m. — I have an email letting me know that a management position I had my eye on a few months ago has finally been posted. It would be an interesting job, but I'm torn, because I just got out of that world in search of work-life balance. To be honest, though, I'm a bit bored in this new life. I miss the rush and excitement of my old job. The posting doesn't close for a few weeks, so I have time to think about it.
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10:30 a.m. — My stomach sounds like a dying whale, so I break into my newly replenished stash of Goldfish crackers.
12 p.m. — I heat up leftover pasta and check my personal email. Our photographer has sent us sneak peeks at our engagement photos. They look amazing, and I'm so happy! We weren't going to do engagement photos, because we didn't think they're a necessary expense, but the wedding is in my hometown, so we wanted a memory from TO. The experience and photos were worth every penny.
12:30 p.m. — I need fresh air, so I run across the street to Shoppers. It's FREEZING outside! Looks like we're going from summer directly into winter. I pick up mascara, because mine is dried out, and Micellar water because my face can't live without it (plus, it's on sale!). $22

1:30 p.m. — C. finally texts me. I usually hear from him throughout the day, but this is super-late. I've had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach all morning. It turns out my intuition was right: One of C.'s coworkers was severely injured on the job. I want to cry. They're taking the guy to the hospital, and I'm so thankful C. is okay. I stress-eat the rest of my mint chocolate bar.
5:15 p.m. — I'm home from work and C. greets me with the biggest hug. I change into workout clothes and eat a few pieces of cheese. Then C. and I make turkey burgers with kale salad. While we eat, he gives me the play-by-play of everything that happened on the job site today.
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7:15 p.m. — I grab my water bottle and make the five-minute walk to my gym. I like to get there a few minutes before my 7:30 p.m. class, so I can snag one of the prime stations.
8:45 p.m. — I'm home from an amazing workout and oh so sweaty. I jump in the shower and double wash my hair (it was in desperate need), then sit on the couch with C., eating grapes and watching an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Daily Total: $22

Day Four

6:45 a.m. — C. is snoring next to me, because he doesn't have to work on Fridays (lucky duck). The sleeping-with-my-hair-wet trick doesn't work in my favour this time, so I throw my hair in a ponytail. For breakfast, I have an egg, banana, and a pear, hoping the added fruit will help control my hunger. I also pull together gifts for two of C.'s friends who are soon-to-be parents. I wrap everything but leave the cards blank for him to write in before delivering the gifts today.
7:50 a.m. — I'm out the door and on the streetcar. I get a text from C., asking what he's supposed to write in a baby card. I text him a suggestion and then ask what he would ever do without me. He responds with something cute. 10 minutes later, he calls to ask the proper way to write an address on a package, and if he can just fold the box instead of taping it shut. This guy, honestly!
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8:15 a.m. — As I'm about to cross the street towards my office, someone steps on the back of my boot and the heel comes off! I hobble the rest of the way to work and change into a pair of flats.
12 p.m. — I go downstairs into our building's lobby to see the shoe guy about saving my boot. He provides me with some reassuring words and asks me to wait on a nearby bench for a few minutes while he works his magic. I open my email and see that H&M is having a 10%-off sale, plus free shipping. I order a black leather belt because mine is falling apart, and I've been meaning to replace it for a while. And, since I'm here, I also get a suit jacket and two cashmere sweaters ($290.83). The boots are ready and they are good as new ($6.80)! $297.63
12:30 p.m. — Back at the office, I heat up a turkey burger with leftover sweet potato.
2:30 p.m. — I get an email from Presto letting me know my transit card has been automatically reloaded. $50
4:30 p.m. — IT'S THE WEEKEND! I take the streetcar to the tailor to pick up a dress I'm hoping to wear for a friends wedding next weekend. I've been a bridesmaid 10 times. Yes, you read that correctly. The overall cost of standing in all these weddings, including dresses, alterations, accessories, hair, makeup, gifts for both the shower and wedding, bachelorettes, and travel (I've flown home or to the destination for most) is close to $20,000. WOW, that's a shock when I actually write it out. So I'm determined to actually wear one of my dresses again. I picked a wine-coloured gown that has a deep V-neck and A-line skirt. C. said it was one of his favourites, so I asked the tailor to hem it to knee-length. I'm happy with how it turned out, and I text a picture to the former bride. She's shocked I'm actually making use of it. I've donated most of my other bridesmaid dresses to local charities that help outfit girls for formals and proms. I'll do the same with this one when I'm done with it. Oh, and just for the record, I've asked my own bridesmaids to pick whatever dress they want to wear. The only parameters are that it be black and they feel amazing in it. $56.50
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6:30 p.m. — I finally get home and C. suggests we walk to a local pub for beers and food. I order a stout and a chicken wrap and C. orders an IPA and a burger. We discuss plans for our honeymoon next year. We're hoping to do a month in central and eastern Europe. A month seems like a long time, but we have so much we want to pack in. We figure this will be our last big trip before buying a house next year and starting the baby-making process, so we want to make the most out of it. C. kindly pays.
8:30 p.m. — We get home and C. watches the Leafs game, while I re-wash my hair and actually blow dry it for once. I have to be up early tomorrow, so I'd prefer to get this out of the way now.
11 p.m. — The Leafs win! We go to bed.
Daily Total: $404.13

Day Five

7 a.m. — I'm up wayyyy too early for a Saturday, because I'm going apple-picking with three friends. I have my usual coffee, two eggs, and a pear. I do my skincare routine and makeup.
8:45 a.m. — We're all finally ready and drive out of the city. The four of us all worked together a few years back, and we always make the effort to do fun activities together.
10 a.m. — We arrive at the apple orchard, and its adorable! We each pay the entrance fee and explore the grounds before picking begins. $6.75
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10:30 a.m. — I pick two kinds of apples, Cortlands for baking and Empires for snacking. After a successful haul, I treat everyone to blueberry scones ($8). We walk down to the river and watch wild salmon swim (I didn't know this was a thing here), and then I get lost in the corn maze and need to Marco Polo my way out. At the orchard's shop, I pick up a pumpkin pie ($10), two locally made pizzas ($20), and pay for my apple haul ($13.34). $51.34
12:30 p.m. — We stop at a local apiary, and I get two jars of honey: one for me and one for my parents. $20
1 p.m. — Next, we drive to a nearby town for lunch and catch-up on life. We also plan our next adventure, which will be this winter. I order an amber lager and the most amazing fish and chips. $32.49
3 p.m. — Everyone is in desperate need of caffeine, so we stop for coffee. I get a flat white made with almond milk. $5
5 p.m. — My friend drops me off, and I lug my purchases up to the condo. C. is out running errands, so I lay down to nap before our evening out, but I mainly just scroll Instagram.
6:30 p.m. — C. is home, so I make us both espressos, and we quickly follow them with white wine. We're celebrating our three-year anniversary tonight. I had a really difficult breakup with my high-school sweetheart when I was in my early 20s, and I had been mostly single for about six years. Then I joined Bumble, mainly so I could have fun swiping when I was out with my girlfriends; I didn't expect to meet my future husband on a dating app. But when I met C., we had such an instant connection that we talked until the bar shutdown. Five months after that first date, C. moved in and the rest is history! Ladies, there are actually decent guys out there, I promise.
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8:30 p.m. — We take the streetcar to the restaurant. C. and I love trying new spots, and we're so lucky to live in an amazing city with endless options. We order a bottle of red wine, stuffed zucchini blossoms, heirloom tomato salad, Pacific rockfish, and fire-roasted pork ribs. I pay. $232
10 p.m. — After dinner, C. checks his phone to find out the Leafs game has gone into overtime. We walk down the street to find a bar to watch the final minutes, but everyone is charging cover. Ummm, I'm 31, not 21. I don't do cover anymore! After 15 minutes, we finally find a spot just in time to see the Leafs lose in a shootout. C. buys us a round of drinks to drown our sorrows.
Daily Total: $347.58

Day Six

9 a.m. — We finally get out of bed, which is way later than usual for us, but we're both feeling slightly hungover. We get dressed and drive to one of our favourite breakfast spots. We both get coffees, and I get the eggs Benedict, and C. gets the traditional breakfast. He pays.
11 a.m. — We're off to the grocery store. We take turns paying for groceries, as we do with most things. We figure it will all even out in the end. It's my turn to pay this week. We pick up: arugula, cucumber, tomatoes, bananas, grapes, pears, peppers, onion, butternut squash, broccoli, lunch meat, tortilla wraps, yogurt, diced tomatoes, three types of canned beans, cheese, steel-cut oats, breadcrumbs, vegetable stock, chicken stock, and beer. $113.66
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12 p.m. — We unpack the groceries, then I get started on meal prep, while C. tackles laundry. I make butternut squash soup from a cooking blog I recently discovered called Well Plated. I also make a pot of steel-cut oats for breakfast during the week. I freeze half of the soup and put the rest in the fridge for lunches.
2 p.m. — I take a break from cooking and walk to get my nails done. I get a dip manicure every three to four weeks, depending how long I can stretch my last one. $50
3:30 p.m. — Back at home, I put butter chicken in the slow cooker (also from Well Plated), then I get turkey chili going on the stove (my own concoction). While those are both simmering, I throw one of the pizzas I bought yesterday into the oven and make a salad for C. and I.
4:30 p.m. — C. leaves for hockey, and I watch a few episodes of Suits (I love Meghan Markle). I also order tickets to see Come From Away in late November as an anniversary gift for C. We like to give experiences as gifts instead of material things, because, frankly, we have enough stuff! $197.50
7:30 p.m. — C. is home, and we indulge in a piece of the pumpkin pie I bought yesterday. The turkey chili is done, so I freeze two servings of it and pack the rest in Tupperware for the week. I feel snacky, so I pop a bag of popcorn. I can't decide what I love more — popcorn or cheese.
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9:30 p.m. — The butter chicken is finally done, so I put it into the fridge for the week. C. and I are both exhausted, so I do my nighttime routine, and we go to bed.
Daily Total: $361.16

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — I'm up, and my morning routine is done. For breakfast, I have steel-cut oats with berries.
12 p.m. — For lunch, I eat two slices of pizza from yesterday and butternut squash soup. I also refill my water bottle and remember to take my multivitamin (small victories).
3 p.m. — I eat cheese, crackers, and grapes that I brought from home.
4:30 p.m. — I leave work and make it just in time to change before my 5:30 p.m. workout class.
6:45 p.m. — Home! I jump in the shower and heat up a bowl of the turkey chili. Then I settle in front of the TV to watch the federal debate. This is probably the first election where I'm not 100% certain who I'm going to vote for. I'm hoping tonight's debate will help me decide.
8:30 p.m. — The format of the debate is frustrating and not helping me make a decision. C. gets home from school, and we turn on — you guessed it — the Leafs game. We also exchange anniversary cards and gifts. C. got me passes to a day spa, and he loves the tickets I got him.
10 p.m. — We're exhausted and in bed. Oh, and the Leafs lost.
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Daily Total: $0
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