People & Places

“Little things add up over time and can turn into a down payment for a home” — ‘Budgeting was critical’ to 25-yr-old’s plan

Mihai Tambaliuc, 25

What He Does

Financial and investment adviser

What He Makes

$52,000 a year

Where He Lives

A two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment near Bayshore mall, purchased for $165,000 at the beginning of this year.

“I’m paying close to $200 a month more to own a place than I was paying rent, but it’s still better for me in the long run, keeping in mind that a portion of the mortgage payment goes to the principle.”

What He Spends in a Month

Mortgage payment  $560
Condo fees  $499 (includes all utilities)
Property taxes  $125
Cellphone and internet  $100
Car insurance $100
Gas $75
Groceries $250
Going out $200

Debt Payments 

“None. I finished paying off my $28,000 student loan prior to purchasing my new apartment — my parents helped me pay the $12,000 balance remaining at the time. I had made small lump-sum payments while in school and started paying very aggressively once I graduated, about $400 per month.“

How He Did It

“I started working in high school and continued to work throughout the five years I was in university. I would work full-time in the summers and at least part-time during the school year. Budgeting was critical. It honestly taught me self-control more than anything else. I would have the impulse to buy a coffee or a shirt I didn’t need but knew I also wanted to go out to the bar with my friends, so decisions had to be made. You find out what’s important to you and what you truly value. For example, I had a fairly simple haircut and taught myself to cut it — ended up saving $30 every month for five years and counting. Those kinds of little things add up over time and can turn into a down payment for a home. Set goals, make plans, stick to them, and adapt when necessary.“

Recent Splurges

Two-week trip to Europe: flight to London, flight to Venice, flight to Amsterdam, flight to Manchester, flight back to Toronto, hotel in London, hotel in Amsterdam — $1,400/person total.

“One of my childhood friends is doing law school in York, England, and decided to stay there for the summer as well, so we are going on a little Euro trip together and visiting other friends who are also studying in Europe. We set a budget of $2,000 per person.”

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