A Week In Toronto, ON, On An $89,000 Salary

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Today: a web developer working in tech who makes $89,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on delivery pancakes.

Occupation: Web Developer
Industry: Technology
Age: 24
Location: Toronto, ON
Salary: $78,000, plus $11,000 for a side job teaching in my field
Net Worth: $21,600
Debt: $0 (My mom paid off $15,000 of my $30,000 student loan when I graduated, and I paid off the rest two months ago.)
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,347 (I get paid in a lump sum for my teaching job.)
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $2,000 (I live alone in a one-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto. I'm thinking about moving in with a roommate, but I love living alone so much!)
Renters Insurance: $14.77
Electricity: $50 (This bill can range from $38 to $86, but it typically hovers around $50.)
Internet: $39.99
Phone: $113 (I'm on one of those pay-the-phone-off-over-the-course-of-your-contract plans.)
Netflix, Spotify & Apple Music: $20.63 (I'm still using student accounts.)
Nintendo Switch Online: $1.42 (family plan split with friends)
Credit-Card Fees: $20 ($10 for an AMEX Cobalt and $10 for a Visa Infinite Momentum)
High-Interest Savings: $800
Tax-Free Savings: $400
Wealthsimple Trade: $250
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Day One

9 a.m. — I'm starting the sixth week of working from home during the pandemic. I grab a homemade cold brew from the fridge and DOUSE my coffee in condensed milk before my team's morning Zoom meeting.

10:15 a.m. — The lights in my hood range and an overhead light in my bathroom ceiling have been out for who knows how long. I finally have extra time to deal with them, so I watch too many YouTube videos on how to change out these tricky lights and order bulbs online. I don't know for sure that they'll fit, but we'll see. $31.17
1:35 p.m. — During my lunch break, I go to the store and stock up on groceries for the next week or so: beef, pork belly, chicken breast, tofu, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, frozen dumplings, chips, condiment restocks, kimchi, and a lot of Arizona iced tea. $107.21

1:36 p.m. — I bought too much iced tea and have to take an Uber home. Oops. $10.76
2 p.m. — I make a chicken Parmesan rice skillet from the groceries I got. I try to make at least three meals each time I cook, because I hate doing dishes! I use the largest pot I own to make five portions for the rest of the week.

7:30 p.m. — I have more of that chicken Parm goodness for dinner. Season 7 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine recently went up on Netflix, so I watch a few episodes. What a treat.

Daily Total: $149.14
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Day Two

9 a.m. — I DOUSE my cold brew with condensed milk again and join the morning Zoom meeting. I'm always just one or two minutes late, because even though I set 20 alarms — 8:20 a.m., 8:23 a.m., 8:25 a.m., and so on — I still manage to wake up right at 8:59am, just in time for the very last alarm.
9:30 a.m. — During my mornings, I always take time to check on my Animal Crossing villagers. I purchased a second-hand Nintendo Switch right before the quarantine, and I couldn't be more thankful to my past self. In the game, I see that my flower bushes are flourishing and that I'm still in debt. I love it.

12:15 p.m. — I eat more chicken Parm rice skillet from yesterday.

2:34 p.m. — I get messages from my friend in a group chat about how I have yet to film my portion of a relay TikTok she organized. Basically, in each person's portion of the video, they're dressed in loungewear, almost as if they just woke up. They "receive" an item — a roll of toilet paper, a banana or whatever — by pulling it into the frame from off screen. Then they place the item in front of the camera, and when they remove it, they're looking snatched and holding a new object, which they then "give" to the next person by passing it out of the frame. I feel slightly guilty that I haven't shot mine yet, because the video requires everyone to do their part. WOW. Should making TikToks be a team-building exercise? It seems like a great way to build camaraderie. Wowowowowow.

7:45 p.m. — During evenings, I've been consuming a lot of content. I want to watch a Korean drama called Goblin, which has a little bit of historical flair, a little bit of time travel, and a lot of drama, so I buy a streaming-service subscription to binge it. I'll cancel right away, so I won't be charged after the first month. And, of course, for dinner I have chicken Parm straight from the fridge to the microwave. $7.90

Daily Total: $7.90
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Day Three

9 a.m. — Yes, just a little bit of coffee with my condensed milk, thank you.
 
12:10 p.m. — I'm sick of the chicken Parmesan skillet I made too much of on Monday, so I order takeout from a favourite burrito place three minutes away and scarf down guacamole. $14.13

2:15 p.m. — Just a casual Animal Crossing break in the middle of the work day. I'm starting to manage my time better while working remotely. It's a fine balance between doing absolutely-zero-nada-nothing and doing way too much because your home is now forever an office. Added bonus: seeing your coworkers online, in the game you're playing, and knowing they're also taking a break.

7:45 p.m. — I order enough dinner for two meals, so I have leftovers: fried chicken, Thai iced tea, and two watermelon juices. My friends from Vancouver and I are having a movie night. We use Netflix Party to watch The Invitation, a thriller that makes me paranoid for the rest of the night. $35.23

Daily Total: $49.36

Day Four

9 a.m. — No cold brew with condensed milk today. I sip Thai iced tea that came with my meal delivery last night. I drink a lot of water in between these beverages, but a tasty drink really keeps me focused on my tasks during the day. 

11:50 a.m. — It's a one-pot lasagna kind of day. I make enough for four meals and eat one helping for lunch while listening to our company's CEO give us updates on the quarantine situation pertaining to us. I hear her say that a few companies are slowly moving back towards working in offices, but that we'll probably still be working from home for a few months. Since I have no designated office space in my condo, I, like many others, have turned my neglected dining table into a workspace. I'm all of a sudden so glad I chose an apartment with one glass wall. It faces north and gets nice, soft, indirect sunlight most of the day.

12 p.m. — I get another message from my friend about the TikTok. Apparently, the seven other people in this grand relay have all already filmed their portions?? How do they all know how to use TikTok so well? Am I a baby boomer because I don't really get how to use it? 

12:30 p.m. — Being hit with an Instagram ad about Mother's Day reminds me that it's less than a month away. My mom has lived alone in Vancouver since I left for University in Toronto. I find a cute florist shop there that does a sick-looking Jasmine wreath as well as dried bouquets, and I put in an order for delivery. $128.81

6:30 p.m. — I pop the fried chicken I ordered yesterday in the oven, and it tastes freshly made. I also sip a watermelon juice that came with the order. Truly, if pressing fresh watermelon juice at home were easier, I would have it every day. Alas, I'm too lazy.

Daily Total: $128.81
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Day Five

8:50 a.m. — A care package arrives in the mail! It's from my best friend in Vancouver, who has sent me a bunch of her favourite snacks and face masks. Each item is labelled with detailed instructions on how she thinks I should use it. I've been compiling her care package for a few weeks now, and I make a note to send it out by next week.

9 a.m. — The care package is almost as sweet as my coffee, which I douse with a copious amount of condensed milk while attending my morning Zoom meeting.

11:45 a.m. — I savour more one-pot lasagna while on a call with some old coworkers from my previous job. I turn down their invitation to guide me through cutting my own hair at home.

5:30 p.m. — I go to a local convenience store to restock some of my favourite snacks and buy a few items for my friend's care package. I get gummies, a chocolate bar, beef jerky, Clodhoppers, tea, and eggs. $24.06

7:30 p.m. — Group TV time. Watching reality TV shows is the best for group calls, and thank goodness a few have been released during this time. We watch Too Hot To Handle while I have another watermelon juice with my one-pot lasagna, and we discuss which contestant will lose the group money.

Daily Total: $24.06

Day Six

11:50 a.m. — I'm craving burgers and fries today, so I order a takeout meal from The Burger's Priest and get extra cookies as sweets for the weekend. The fries are soggy by the time I get home, but they're still salty, and my oven heats up crazy-quick (an upside of having a tiny condo oven?), so I pop them in to crisp. $24.07

12:52 p.m. — I watch YouTube videos on investing.

2 p.m. — I watch YouTube videos on the economy.

3:10 p.m. — I watch YouTube videos on bullet journaling and which pens are best for which notebooks.

4:32 p.m. — After a full day of doing extremely important work that contributes deeply to society, I get a message from an old student of mine. I teach coding on the side, and we chat about the website he's building for his mom's business. I don't have much of an eye for design, but I nevertheless enjoy looking through his designs with him. I was supposed to teach another course in a month, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

7:30 p.m. — I'm finishing off the last chicken Parm bowl I have left in the fridge! It tastes just as good five days later. Then, I end up playing Jackbox games with a few friends into the night. We used to do board game nights once a month and, in an attempt to keep the tradition going during the pandemic, I purchased a Jackbox online game pack for the group. The games often involve answering trivia, drawing things, and Mad-Libbing. Playing them has made me realize just how little general knowledge I have, but also how great I am at recognizing celebrities by only the characters they portray or the songs they sing, and never by their real names. 

Daily Total: $24.07
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Day Seven

11:30 a.m. — A friend recently lost a loved one, and we do a video brunch together. I order fluffy pancakes and two matcha lattes (one for later, of course), and we chat for several hours. $30.09

2:30 p.m. — On Sundays, I usually prep for teaching or try to do something productive. Today, I think about doing work for my full-time job but decide against it; we're discouraged from working outside of regular business hours unless it's absolutely necessary. Instead, I work on my friend's portfolio website. She's going to be graduating from a journalism program soon, and I offered to build her a website as a gift. I snack on brie and wonder if she'd prefer her favourite navy blue as the accent colour or as the main background of her landing page. I would ask but, knowing her, I'd just be met with an "I don't know." 

7:45 p.m. — I'm out of cold brew, so I slap one cup of grounds into my French press and fill it to the brim. I'll leave it like this until right before bed, around midnight, if I can remember to press it.
8 p.m. — I round down the week with more of my one-pot lasagna. Then I watch a friend stream his play-through of the new Final Fantasy VII remake, and I offer many comments along the way.

9:30 p.m — Finally, I'm filming my portion of the relay TikTok. I receive a drink, change from sweats into a dress, and then pass on a roll of toilet paper. Truly, this is the peak of my productivity.

12:45 a.m — I remember to press my French press. I really want cold coffee for Monday morning. 
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Daily Total: $30.09
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