People & Places

Cost of Living: “When we moved to Orleans, we paid off all our debts. Next step is to increase the amount that we save”

Cost of Living is a new series that looks at how Ottawans spend, save, and enjoy life. Want to be a part of the conversation? Send us an email: dayanti.karunaratne@stjoseph.com

Mark (32), Erika (33), and Sophia (2)

What they do
Mark is a financial adviser; Erika is a project analyst with the government

What they make
$118,000 a year

Where they live
A two-bedroom (plus loft) 1,300-square-foot townhouse in Orleans

What they spend per month
Mortgage: $1,667
Groceries: $650
Daycare: $950
Insurance: $510
Car loan: $383
Parking spot: $255
Eating out: $200
Gas: $200
Cell phone: $153
Gym: $100
Utilities: $100
Cable/internet: $45
Recreation: $40
Hobbies: $30

Savings      
$40 per month

How we do it
“When we moved to Orleans, we paid off all our debts. Next step is to increase the amount that we save,” says Mark, who notes that their preference for natural and organic food increases their grocery costs. And while insurance bills seem high, Mark and Erika have done the research and are confident in their choice. “Now we know that we’re protected against any circumstances that would otherwise cause financial ruin for the family,” says Mark.

Recent splurges
$5,200 on appliances for the new house.

“We could have gotten hand-me-down ones, but we wanted more advanced appliances for a change!”

$200 on a wicker bistro set for the front porch.

$120 for bedsheets (“Amazon Prime day, couldn’t resist the deal!”)

$100 for a foam topper for daughter’s bed.
“Since moving into the new house, she’s been having a hard time sleeping, so sometimes we will sleep next to her until she can relax,” says Mark. “I figured if we were going to lie there, we wanted to be comfortable too.”

Want to be featured in an upcoming Cost of Living?
Send us an email: dayanti.karunaratne@stjoseph.com