Living on Less

Some of my regular readers know that I live on really what is very little in Canada’s largest urban center. This is what has forced me to be cheaper later maybe I can then be Cheap and after that maybe I can graduate to frugal. This week here in Toronto a study came out about poverty in Canada and more specifically here in To and the number of children. Did you know that 1 in 8 children live in hoseholds that are well below the poverty line, and that gap is growing rapidly here in the city..

I am going to give you some facts:

A single mom who is forced onto welfare( and many are because of unfair IE rules here in Canada) who has one child receives $874.00

She will then receive $ 266.00 for Child tax on the 20th

If she is volunteering she will receive another $100 for a bus pass.

So a mom with one child lives off of $1240 at the most…this is the amount that I receive.

How does that get spent here in the big city?

Here is my budget:

Rent $700 ( for a small basement 1 bedroom that is actually an illegal apt)

Phone and Internet ( the net is my only luxury but it is also a tool for job hunting and school work for Roo) $74.10

Food-$200 ( tomorrow I will write about how I make $200 stretch)

Busfare- $75


Personal Grooming and Cleaning Supplies -$15

After School Program for Roo-$10

School Expenses(field trips, pizza lunch, scholastic etc) -$20

 Clothing $25

which leaves me with just over $100 for anything else that may come up like the dentist which is not covered properly here in To for poor adults.

In 10 years Roo has never been on a vacation – she doesn’t know what they are. She has never spent a holiday with my family who live in Nova Scotia. These are the realities. Does this bug me? No it is my reality for now..

I am job hunting and luckily I have been given the tools that most months I can squeak by. I will admit with things like Christmas and 2 birthdays around the corner I do worry. I have never wanted Roo to know how poor we are so I don’t talk money with her. I try and teach her that some times mom can say yes to a request and some times the answer is a no. I am trying to teach contentment with what we have.

With that said and done I am really trying hard to live with less. I do this most months by shopping well and entering lots of contests which have given Roo and I some fun times in the city, however we would love that trip to Whistler to play in the snow, or one of the computers , which are only a couple of the contests I am entering all the time right now.

So any ideas for living on less but living well?

4 responses to “Living on Less

  1. Network- what size is Roo? I have four girls who often outgrow things before they are worn out and have lots of like new books and DVDs lying around…. write me. I know around here I often search out free or dollor days at local event/mueseums, etc. I also look for schools putting on productions or events often free or cheap. um, I shop clearance racks ,I sell our old stuff at consignment shops…

  2. I hear you. Decades ago I was a single mother going to university full-time with a nine year old. I had US$9100 a year for all of it. We had $5 a month that wasn’t spoken for. It was a babysitter once a month, a present by saving up many months, or a cheap matinee movie together.

    I washed a lot by hand back then. I got really good at stretching a bit of meat a long way by stuffing vegetables with it, extended with rice, bread crumbs, pasta, etc. We also learned the many glories of beans.

    Could you get internet cheaper by going free analog server on minimalist phone line?

  3. Wow that’s really great stuff! I’ll check back for more if you don’t mind… Hopefully you’ll be able to take a vacation soon, you deserve it! 🙂
    <3, Amy in AZ

  4. I totally get it. I’m a single mom of a ten year old. For the past 3 years I have had a minimalist budget, too. No insurance for myself. I find myself searching continually for helpful cheap hints to extend our budget. My food budget is $65 a month. I echo the other writer about the value of beans. I bake everything from scratch. I make my own laundry detergent. We don’t use the car from spring to fall to cut down on gas, wear and tear, and insurance costs. No new clothes. Thank goodness for garage sales and resale shops. I also utilize the library for free check out of DVDs, CDs, and books. I scour the community for free events or very cheap ones. Here’s to all of us who make do on very little:)

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