In our new Smart Money series, #MilliennialMoney, we’re asking residents of the Greater Toronto Area to record every penny spent in a typical week. Then, with the help of a financial advisor, we challenge them to cut spending the next week so they can save more. Will they fail or succeed?
As a real estate administrator earning $ 38,000 a year, Annie, 27, thinks her usual lifestyle purchases – the inclusive rates to get to work, the occasional coffee – are things she can afford. . It helps that she lives with her parents in North York which cuts her rental costs (to zero), and yes, her mom takes care of the groceries.
“On a regular basis, after transportation, coffee, my next most frequent purchases would probably be alcohol or skin care and also marijuana,” she says. “But like that, it’s not much. It’s probably $ 60 a month.
Usually Annie says she’s pretty good at making lunches, but during off-peak times she can dive into a “second lunch,” which means going to Subway for a sandwich.
Annie’s biggest problem is getting into debt. She owes a few thousand dollars on credit cards. Debt accumulates as Annie pursues her dream of becoming an actress. She takes at least two improvisation or theater lessons per month. Classes start around $ 300.
“That’s the only reason I work,” she says, adding that the job of an asset manager is just a daily job to fund this passion.
Annie says she is open to a new job that would make it easier for her to finance her dream of acting. But balancing her current role with acting classes doesn’t give her much time to fully engage in the research process – and it takes her away from it. “I made rare attempts to apply for jobs, but nothing came back.”
She is also actively trying to lobby for better pay at her job without much success.
“Beyond the work week of more than 40 hours, if I am looking for a job, it is to the detriment of my time for my art,” she adds.
Annie hopes that a financial expert can capture her blind spots by finding out how she can save enough to fund her career in the arts.
The expert: Jason heath, Managing Director of Objective Financial Partners Inc., advises Annie.
> “I’m a coffee drinker myself and I’m not going to criticize Annie’s coffee expenses.” Saving a few bucks here and there on coffee won’t make it or break it.
> “The fall shopping trip is a consideration. Ideally, by buying out of season or at the end of the season, you could get more for your money at retail. Whether it’s shopping for Halloween decorations in November or summer fashion in the fall, you get big discounts. The hard part is that your selection can be limited and your wardrobe can be a year behind. ”
> “At $ 121 per month, Annie could benefit from a change of provider for her cellular plan. Discount brands like Koodo are significantly inferior to flagship telecom brands like Rogers, Bell, and Telus. Their unlimited 4GB calling, texting and data plan for $ 55 per month could cut its mobile costs in half.
Results: Success! Expenses in week 1: $ 451.31. Expenses in week 2: $ 343.16.
What she thought about it: Annie said she found the tips very helpful for long-term goals, but not when it came to cutting down on immediate spending week to week. “The tips provided a bigger umbrella, but were not vetted immediately.” She will, however, follow Heath’s advice to try and save more on a monthly basis.
To take away : The mobile plan changes. Paying $ 121 per month, Annie says she has a better idea of her next steps – finding a plan under $ 70 if possible to save about $ 50 more per month.
When it comes to fall clothes, she acknowledges that shopping during the sale season would help keep costs down, but thinks she “only bought needs” to get her ready for the fall season. winter.
Now it’s about working on her spending temptations, which Annie says she’s more aware of. “I want Apple’s new AirPods (which cost around $ 200), but I think I can wait,” she says.
Are you a millennial living in Toronto or the GTA and need help saving your money? Be a part of #MillennialMoney and email [email protected]