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Discussion Starter #181
Good news on the expenses front. My rent is only going up 2% this year, the smallest annual increase since I've moved in. My employment income went up 10% from a year ago, so this is currently a good situation.
 

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Weird. I'd say adding a wife to the mix makes it easier to save 50% of salary. Income goes up, but expenses go up only marginally.
Kids can throw a wrench in the mix, but generally not until they reach school age. Babies and toddlers are cheap.
The odds are against you to save when you get married. Now you need to have 2 savers instead of one. It does not matter if more money comes in plus with the sharing of expenses some people spend everything plus some..

There is a high percentage of people that spend as much or more then they make regardless of how much money they are making. So if one is a spender & the other a saver the spender will spend the savers money that they save. Before there was a saver & a spender now the spender stopped the saver from being a saver.
 

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Discussion Starter #185
There is a high percentage of people that spend as much or more then they make regardless of how much money they are making. So if one is a spender & the other a saver the spender will spend the savers money that they save. Before there was a saver & a spender now the spender stopped the saver from being a saver.
You're absolutely right lonewolf
 

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Discussion Starter #186 (Edited)
Spending update
Total spent in last 6 months: $20,478
Total spent in last 12 months: $42,030

A year ago, the trailing 12 month spending was 36,700 (under budget) and currently it's at 42,030 (over budget). The increase is entirely due to some extra travel. This was part of a plan to have less indoor office/computer time and do more outdoors trips including big hikes, surfing, and cycling -- trying to energize myself and bring up my level of outdoors activity. Admittedly I could have done this cheaper but there's something about these trips to beautiful places that seems to have really kicked me into high gear.

There have been weeks where I've sometimes hiked 10-15 hours in a week, and other weeks where I've cycled for 8-12 hours.

I think it's been working. I've been steadily losing weight, now my lowest weight and probably the leanest I've been in 12 years. So although I'm running over my 38K budget, it's safe to say that my recent outdoors lifestyle is fun, and improving my health... a good long term investment.

I'm now focusing on trying to get back under budget without sacrificing the activity. The next few months may get tricky as I monitor my spending, and there are some upcoming (smallish) moving expenses. I also really want to do a trip to the Rockies this fall for some more exploring & hiking, so I'm debating that in context of this budgeting.

As a first step, I'm trying to get back under 40K.
 

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Discussion Starter #187
Spending update
Total spent in last 6 months: $18,633
Total spent in last 12 months: $40,303

An improvement, but still too high. First I'll try to push this under 40K, and then under the 38K budget.

This is now approaching 3 years at the 38K budget level. I'm fighting against inflation (since I haven't raised that number) but for now, I'm going to keep driving towards the same number. It seems feasible, and I like having some pressure (even though it's completely arbitrary) to reduce spending.
 

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Discussion Starter #188
Spending update
Total spent in last 6 months: $17,285
Total spent in last 12 months: $39,494

This is going in the right direction. I'm now back under 40K, but still trying to get below the 38K budget. I'm almost there. Some of my highest spending months over the last year are about to 'roll off' this trailing 12 month calculation.
 

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Discussion Starter #189
Spending update
Total spent in last 6 months: $15,475
Total spent in last 12 months: $33,885

Now successfully under budget for the trailing 12 months; success! It's nice to see that after going over budget, I can get back under. I'm going to stick with the same 38K expense target for 2020 as it seems that inflation still has not forced me higher.
 

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Spending update
Total spent in last 6 months: $15,475
Total spent in last 12 months: $33,885

Now successfully under budget for the trailing 12 months; success! It's nice to see that after going over budget, I can get back under. I'm going to stick with the same 38K expense target for 2020 as it seems that inflation still has not forced me higher.
Good job and congratulations for being disciplined.
I see you moved to Manitoba from the US. Just curious if you want to speak about how that changed your spending, was it a positive?
 

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Discussion Starter #191
Good job and congratulations for being disciplined.
I see you moved to Manitoba from the US. Just curious if you want to speak about how that changed your spending, was it a positive?
Thanks. I had been a MB resident for some time but recently left my apartment in the US. This has been a gradual change over 2018, 2019, 2020.

The moving activities have been a mixed bag on expenses. The story really isn't done, because I'm planning on moving to BC within a few months. At the moment I'm just rolling with the uncertainty but keeping an eye on trailing 12 month expenses.
 

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Thanks. The story really isn't done, because I'm planning on moving to BC within a few months..
Where in BC ? It would be interesting to see how the expenses change if you settle in the lower mainland.
I don't remember if you had a family, and you probably already know this, but rent and daycare here are crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #193 (Edited)
Where in BC ? It would be interesting to see how the expenses change if you settle in the lower mainland.
I don't remember if you had a family, and you probably already know this, but rent and daycare here are crazy.
I'm thinking of Vancouver (the city). I'm getting conflicting data on rents. I surveyed downtown apartment rent back in the summer and found it was affordable, comparable to what I paid in Portland, a bit further down the coast. By 'affordable' I mean that I should still be able to have the same quality of life I've had for the last few years at similar cost. I'm single.

However I was flying through Vancouver just last week and talked with a couple people in the airport. They gave me rent numbers far higher than what my earlier search showed, which makes me concerned that rents have shot up like crazy in just a few months (??)

I'm now hoping that the Hong Kong unrest stabilizes, because otherwise I fear there could be an exodus from HK into Vancouver.
 

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You'd be looking at $1700-1800 for something decent, but it's still going to be very basic for that price. Nicer 1-bedrooms go for $2000 and up.
 

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Is the 1700-1800 for a downtown 1 bedroom? That's similar to what I found when I last did a search.
There are different sizes, ages and level of equipment so there's quite a variance. $1800 sounds reasonable but I would rather think about something like $2000 for a 650 sqf. 1 bedroom apartment in downtown Vancouver. Going further east in Burnaby that same money will probably rent you a much bigger/newer place.
 

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Discussion Starter #197
Thanks, good points. I pulled up the floor plan on my last apartment, which was 571 sq ft and this was actually too much space for me. I'm not after big spaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #198 (Edited)
Still thinking Vancouver and mentally preparing myself for a likely higher cost of living than Manitoba (basically a guarantee). My current trailing 12 month spending is running around 34K as posted earlier. This is still under budget so I have a bit of "room" to absorb higher spending upon moving to Vancouver. I also have the option of doing an inflation adjustment to my existing budget amount. I suspect I can handle the Vancouver cost of living.

I guess I'll only know how this shapes up with time. I've moved long distances quite a few times and patterns get disrupted, so it's hard to anticipate what the new "pattern" might look like.

Can anyone suggest other Canadian cities where I can live centrally and wouldn't need a car? I prefer walking and bicycling just about everywhere, for daily errands such as groceries.

The obvious cities that come to mind are Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal.
 

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Ability to earn income at that location (you're doing some intermittent projects and consulting now?) and lifestyle characteristics at those locations should be the only considerations. It costs what it costs.

And remember that accepting a higher cost of living doesn't mean you are committing your entire life and future cashflow to that amount/location. You can always change your mind later and move to a low costs location to live off of investments. In the mean time, if being in Vancouver means you spend an extra 100k over the next 5 years, but make an extra 200k after tax in those 5 years, then it was the right choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #200
True, this doesn't mean signing up for large expenses for life. That's a good point.

You're right, business opportunity and lifestyle are the only considerations. Yes I'm doing intermittent projects, currently remote, and I expect there will be a business advantage being in Vancouver. Lifestyle and general quality of life is a major consideration. For several years I really enjoyed the lifestyle of Washington & Oregon and I'm thinking that Vancouver (or really anywhere in BC) might be similar.
 
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