Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Seattle & Las Vegas

524406_10151544240740248_311230672_nTomorrow after work I’ll be driving down to Seattle to meet up with my family for our annual Blue Jays trip. I’m really excited to watch my first Mariners game of the year, dust off my Hentgen jersey, and eat a vegetarian chili hot dog. :) I had originally budgeted $200 for this weekend trip, but as it turns out I forgot that in exchange for buying the baseball tickets ($107 each), my parents had offered to pay for our hotel rooms. So, since the baseball tickets were bought months ago, the only expense I need to worry about is gas and food – probably about $100 in total.

In other travel news, I’ve booked a trip to Vegas for October. Actually I booked it last month, but don’t think I told you about it. I know, I always say I’m never going to go back again. And every year I book another trip. :) However, this time I’m meeting up with my one of my oldest blogger friends, Amber, and two of her best friends. The flight down cost me $390, and we are splurging on the suite at the Cosmopolitan for 2 nights at a cost of $385 each after exchange rate. Yes, this will be an expensive trip as far as Vegas goes. But since two trips this year have been cancelled (RV trip up north, and Mexico in November), I had a little wiggle room in my travel budget. :)

Weekly Spending Recap: July 13-19, 2015

Monday 13th
$4 Subway
$10 Starbucks (reload card)

Tuesday 14th
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 15th
$24.38 groceries

Thursday 16th
$11.19 gelato
$48.72 gas

Friday 17th
$4 Subway
$17.80 groceries

Saturday 18th
No Spend Day!

Sunday 19th
$5 parking
$15 deodorant
$10 lunch
$91 Victoria GoodLife Half Marathon registration

Total: $241.09

This was a really social week! On Monday I went to spin class with my friend, and then out for Starbucks afterwards. Tuesday I was treated to beers in the park with a friend. Friday I met up with my realtor to discuss listing prices and strategy, then went running with friends from my old job. Sunday a good pal and I went to an Iced Tea Festival, then headed downtown to Veg Fest Vancouver – where we had so much fun trying different products and walking around Granville Street. :) I even got to try my first vegan bacon cheesebuger, and it was really good!

And for the biggest expense of the week? I signed up for the GoodLife Half Marathon. It was the very first half marathon I ever ran back in 2013, and I’m really looking forward to beating my time from last year … and staying injury-free while training. :)

Breaking down my cost of renting vs. owning

Over the last few days I started calculating how much it would cost me to sell my home in the suburbs and move downtown. After a feeble attempt at finding a condo in Vancouver within my price range (that wasn’t a complete dump), I’ve come to the (obvious) realization that I’ll be a renter once I move. And I’m okay with that, because there are actually a lot of options for me to choose from.

So in order to see how much I would save by moving downtown, I decided to take a typical monthly budget with my mortgage and compare it to what I would be paying if I were renting instead:

mortgage_vs_rent

Note: Rent in the area I want can vary in price from $750/month micro-lofts to $6000/month luxury oceanfront condos. While I actually do find the idea of living in a micro-loft appealing, for the purposes of this exercise, I went with $1,200/month rent – which is slightly lower than the average of around $1,400 that I was finding.

So based on the numbers above, I’d be saving $400 month. Huge money to me. Not only that, but I’d be cutting down on my commute (most places I looked at I could walk to work), and I’d be within walking distance to a lot of the things that I love to do in this city.

There are drawbacks though. First of all, according to my mortgage terms, I’d have to pay approximately $1,900 to back out of my mortgage. Not as much as I thought I’d have to pay, but still a significant amount. And for field hockey and visiting my friends, I’d have a longer commute from downtown because obviously I’d be farther away. But I know I’d be happier moving, so I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

$400 extra in my budget means that I could bring my retirement contributions up towards the $1,200-$1,300/month range with no real effort, and I find that extremely appealing. It then becomes feasible to start looking at potentially being able to put away closer to 50% of my income from my full-time job towards retirement, but one step at a time I suppose. :)

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