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Discussion Starter #201
Might as well post some updates. Cost of living as gone way down, mainly because I was quarantined at home after some travel. I basically spent no money at all in March.

The original plan was to move to BC around now, and this obviously isn't happening at the moment.

I'm still continuing with my small business. This is actually going pretty well, though I will have to move to either BC or ON for business reasons and proximity to some key people. I can make it work in the current arrangement (stuck in MB) though it is not ideal.

I'm about to send an invoice for March work, but I'm not sure the client will pay it. We'll see. In any case, I have a strong cash cushion as I always expected my income to be unreliable. I don't anticipate any need to tap into my investments, even if my business grinds to a halt.
 

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Discussion Starter #202
I'm starting to wish I had not tried so hard to 'constrain spending'. I haven't looked at my numbers lately, but my monthly & annual numbers have crashed.

My business income has also suffered, but I did file and receive CERB, so that was nice. Really does smooth the income; great job by government rolling out such a rapid solution and getting cheques (direct deposit) out so fast.

Can anyone guess at how long it might be before I can move to BC? Do you think I'm looking at 3 more months, or maybe 6? Or maybe it's just too early to tell.
 

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Pretty sure you could just rent a uhaul and move right now. But, you may want to wait a bit longer practically speaking if you want to search for housing, get services connected, etc. Maybe June or July...
 

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Discussion Starter #205
Pretty sure you could just rent a uhaul and move right now. But, you may want to wait a bit longer practically speaking if you want to search for housing, get services connected, etc. Maybe June or July...
I thought some provincial borders were closed? But yes, obviously I will need to visit apartment buildings, find housing, and need various services. I will have to wait.

Plus I feel that MB is a relatively safe place to be right now. Sparse, small population and in the middle of nowhere -- perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #206
I'm a bit embarrassed to post my spending numbers. It's shocking how much my spending has crashed... kind of reflects why the entire economy is contracting, actually. I will eventually post some numbers here, but I'm not sure how useful they are, given that this is (hopefully) a "once in a life time" scenario.

My lifestyle was travel-heavy, so it's a particularly large spending contraction for me.
 

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I'm a bit embarrassed to post my spending numbers. It's shocking how much my spending has crashed... kind of reflects why the entire economy is contracting, actually. I will eventually post some numbers here, but I'm not sure how useful they are, given that this is (hopefully) a "once in a life time" scenario.

My lifestyle was travel-heavy, so it's a particularly large spending contraction for me.
I normally don't track my spending very tightly (that's just me) but I have found it helpful to compare these odd times with my regular spending. I find something the abnormalities provide a different insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #208
Thinking a few weeks/months into the future... I'm still thinking of moving to Vancouver (city). I was in the process of doing this when the outbreak hit. But I'm wondering if COVID-19 is a reason to change that plan?

Looking at BC's data on their epidemic curve, it still looks worrying to me (still actively spreading) but not as bad as Ontario. I'm in an age group (30-40) with a reasonably low rate of hospitalization and zero deaths so far in BC.

Moving anywhere new requires that I restock my apartment, get my hands on essentials & furniture. I would also need services connected and would inevitably have to visit/interact with various places. This is the main reason I completely halted my moving plan.
 

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While I suppose one can characterize that it's still actively spreading, I wouldn't necessarily say it's widely spreading in the metro Vancouver area as spikes in numbers are primarily from known community outbreaks: care homes due to workers working multiple locations, inmates and guards at a prison, and two poultry processing plants where a few staff worked at both, in addition to what seems to be limited spot infections like a worker at superstore, etc. I would be very interested in seeing some kind of diagram linking the infections between individuals to understand the spread better.

Our spending has been impacted as well but it's pretty obvious with less spend on eating out, transport, entertainment, and travel but with groceries and utilities going up.
 

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Discussion Starter #210
milhouse: thanks very much for that info. Can you point me to a good resource for monitoring the situation, particularly in metro or central Vancouver?

I'm going to do some analysis of my spending at the end of this month. It's not just my travel and entertainment that's gone down. Due to the timing of all this, I've been living together with some family members and pay no rent. This was supposed to be temporary. So my housing costs are ridiculously low at the moment.

I don't enjoy this living situation. It's become difficult to get my work done as I am used to living alone, but now I am constantly being interrupted by family members. I normally cook, but now I don't have a kitchen (too many people crowded in there). And my parents are close by, and love seeing me, so I get non-stop requests to help them with everything. And they get angry if I don't give them technical help, shopping help, emotional help.

Basically I have to move somewhere farther, out of this city. Just about anywhere, actually. I make around $200/hr, and it drives me nuts that I can't just sit somewhere quiet and get my work done without some kind of interruption, or family members trying to guilt me into doing something for them, or pouting because I don't want to drop my work and come to their aid.

Anyway, I realize many people have found themselves in similar situations due to the lockdown (for example with all the kids at home!) but I'm just trying to say that I am looking forward to when I have my own place again, even with big increase in expenses.
 

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We're just watching the daily briefings from the BC provincial health officer or highlights via tv (Global BC news, their website, or their youtube channel) and getting summarized info from the Global BC (@GlobalBC) twitter feed who has a reporter at the briefings (@richardzussman) and Daily Hive's (@DailyHiveVan) reporter (@farhanmohamed). They're doing a good job noting the changes in numbers: new cases, hospitalizations, ICU cases, recovery, and deaths, and addeing good context around the numbers. It's not metro Vancouver focused but there's obviously lot of discussion around Vancouver due to the hotspots.

I totally understand your desire for more independent/remote.
 

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I wouldn't be in a hurry... if you can wait a couple months there should be some good deals coming up in the rental market. With the collapse of AirBNB, many of those units are making their way onto the long term rental market. I don't think panic has quite set in yet, but tourism isn't coming back anytime soon, so those property owners will be desperate for income after a few months.
 

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Discussion Starter #213
Spending update
Total spent in last 12 months: $24,911

My annual expense budget is 38K and I'm spending much less. March was my lowest expense month ever recorded, at a total of $388 spent. INSANE. This is because I'm now living in a family member's house and not paying rent. I was on an all-inclusive trip ($0 cost of food), then ended up in quarantine.

April was a more typical COVID-19 / lockdown month, and my expenses were still 69% below typical. It illustrates the sharp economic crash that results from all of this. For example, I was about to buy an expensive laptop, but deferred that purchase. Since I'm not ever leaving the house or travelling, I don't need a laptop right now.

The numbers are obviously crazy right now, but I am sticking with my original 38K annual budget. I've used the same target for 5 years now, so it's nice to see that inflation isn't hurting me.
 

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$24000/ yr? Sheesh! I've already spent $21000 in the first 4 months of 2020...:eek:
Keep in mind James pays NO rent...

I'm not sure if he has a car, but if not that could easily be another $500/mo (approx.) savings.

With no rent and low (or no) car expenses, you can live incredibly well on 2k per month.
 

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Discussion Starter #218
Keep in mind James pays NO rent...

I'm not sure if he has a car, but if not that could easily be another $500/mo (approx.) savings.
Right, currently there is no rent, but I will pay it again in the future. So my current trailing 12 month figure is abnormally low and it can't stay that low.

I use a family member's car, and pay for occasional maintenance on it. I also sometimes use rental cars. But I am a "light" car user, mostly walking and biking. My vehicle expense are $100 to $150/month on average.
 

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Discussion Starter #219
I'm starting to worry about food / grocery inflation. Prices are now elevated and I don't see any reason they would go down later.
 

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In the 2020 outlooks I read at the end of last year, notable food inflation was already being forecast for 2020. I was seeing it in our grocery bills at the start of the year and even more so now combined with less sales and promos.
That said, I'm curious what pricing we'll see with spot prawns this year as a bit of an indicator with global trade likely impacted and restaurants closed. The season normally starting in May but got pushed out to June.
 
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