I pay $79/mo for a bus pass. This is a discounted rate that companies can offer to their employees, if I wasn't a part of this program my pass would cost $91/mo. I get a yearly pass and the $79 is taken right off every other paycheque so I don't even notice it. And that's pretty much it for my transit costs. I never take cabs as I live within an hour's walking distance to pretty much everywhere I want to go and if I miss the last bus I just walk home. However, just this month I signed up with a car share. Again I got a discount through work so there was a $50 one-time sign up fee (instead of $250), and a $35 annual damage pool fee. And then to book a car, it's $2 per booking, $3 per hour (maximum $36 daily), and $0.15-$0.40 per kilo (depending on how many). I've used that twice this month, once to visit my mother in law outta town and it came to about $50 (cheaper than renting a car but more than taking the Greyhound) and another time for just an hour to drop off some large pieces of art and that came to $5 (about the same as a round trip bus ticket). I can't imagine I'll use the car share for much else.
I've seen two psychiatrists. In Canada it's covered by your healthcare so you don't really 'shop' for them in the same way. You first see your family doctor and they make the referral to a psychiatrist in your area. From my experience you just get a spot with whoever is accepting new patients and can see you as soon as possible. I started seeing my first therapist when I was 17 and I went to him because my mom went to him. So it was more or less out of my control, but it worked out okay. I loved him and saw him until I was 21 and moved out of the province. The second psychiatrist I saw, when I was 25, was referred to me by my doctor who I simply went to saying I was depressed/suicidal/whatever, and she made the appointment ("Okay, you will go see soandso at this time."). He was not a good fit for me and after a year he asked me not to come back (really!) and I never saw anyone again after that. So it's kind of a gamble being referred by your doctor but no more than picking a name out of a directory, I guess.
I don't know about weekly, but last month I spent $357.32 on groceries which is about average. That's for two people. I think it's absolutely outrageous -- when I lived alone I probably spent $50-100 at the absolute most on food for myself each month. I honestly have no idea why my boyfriend eats so much. It's probably one of the top things we fight about.
For the last year my rent has been 50% of my salary (It would be more like 30% if my boyfriend can get a job). As to your questions: "What do people do when they’re putting away laundry one day and realize all their underwear is falling apart or their socks all have holes?" They cry. "Or they really like that mason jar travel mug on Etsy?" They buy a jar of Classico pasta sauce, make pasta for dinner, wash out mason jar the sauce came in, use mason jar for drinking water with pasta. "Do most people spend about 40 percent of their income on housing?" In my city they do.
"Painter, paint!" (Dali) is probably my boyfriend's motto, which I like. I think some people forget (or get too depressed to care, maybe) that half the work of doing something well is actually doing it.
I spent a stupid amount of money this weekend I really don't have. Booked a car through my car share co-op to drive out to see my boyfriend's mom for the weekend. That'll be charged to my credit card later this month but the hourly rate for three days will equal about $80 and it'll probably be the same for all the kilometres. Still cheaper than renting (members don't pay gas or insurance) but more than just getting on the Greyhound. Saturday: We did good at the garage sales ($73.60), had a quick burger lunch for two ($23.50), then we were bored so we went to see Oblivion ($21 for two tickets, bf paid for the popcorn). Sunday: Breakfast for two ($31.28), then our mother's day gift of a day of yardwork, which equalled a trip to Home Depot ($98.96) to fix her backyard fence. I don't even wanna add all that up!
@cryptolect Yeh I don't know why $300 doesn't last us. We don't eat out, I pack a lunch, I even bring coffee in a thermos so I don't have to stop in at Starbucks during the day, and yet every month we're short. It's frustrating.
I hate these challenges. They just seem so patronizing. My boyfriend has been without work since September and despite my working 7 days a week at two jobs, we're still incredibly financially strapped. Our food budget for the month is $300. So that's like $10/day for two people. I have workmates who spend $10 just on their lunch every day! One of the things that is hardly ever brought up in these pieces is the intense depression that comes with having to watch every single cent you spend and never getting to treat yourself with even a delivery pizza when you're too tired to cook after work. Managing the despair that comes with being poor is far more a challenge than giving up morning lattes. But I guess if you're only living like this for a week then you don't get to that point?
@andnowlights Your parents paid for all your schooling and an insane wedding and still you're bitching that they don't just give you $10k? Is it so hard to believe that after spending so much on you over the years, they want to do something for themselves? Hopefully your own children won't be so ungrateful and crass to demand whatever you're left when your parents pass away.
@Megano! It depends where you go. In BC, there's gov't funded clinics that are free 'cause you're covered by MSP (or OHIP). But if you go to a private clinic it'll be about $200 if you have Blue Cross or other insurance, and about $400 w/o insurance.