People & Places

“We’ve only bought used cars with cash. I’ll walk before I pay a car payment!” — How a young family spends their money

Jordan (30), Kate (30),  and Ivy (2)

Photo by Jessica Deeks

What they do
Jordan is a real estate investor and support worker; Kate is a kindergarten teacher currently on leave to care for Ivy 

What they make
$50,000 a year 

Where they live
A two-bedroom 900-square-foot duplex in Lowertown. (They rent out the other two-bedroom unit.)

What they spend in a month
Rent/Mortgage $1,746 (our rental unit upstairs covers 100% of this)
Groceries $400
Eating out $25
Internet $50
Cellphone $70
Car insurance $69
Gas $200

Debt payments
Zero. “When I graduated from university, I lived with my parents and worked a ton for one year and paid off my student loans,” says Jordan. “Kate worked two jobs through university and was able to finish without any debt. We’ve only bought used cars with cash. I’ll walk before I pay a car payment!”

$208   for Ivy’s RESP
$100   for a robo-adviser portfolio with WealthSimple
$40     for an RRSP matching program 

How we do it
“Buying a duplex allowed us to live in a neighbourhood we would not otherwise have been able to afford,” says Jordan. “We can walk to just about anything in 10 minutes, which saves a lot of time and money.” 

Crunching the numbers
“We bought our first house together — a townhouse in Barrhaven — in 2011. Then Kate started working downtown and got fed up with the bus commute,” says Jordan.
“In 2014, we refinanced our mortgage, took the equity out, and exhausted every possible financing option to purchase our duplex downtown. We kept our townhouse as well and rented it out. It was a huge leap of faith, but the numbers made sense. We have since purchased four more duplexes around Algonquin College with a joint-venture partner. I am now managing 10 rental units.”

Recent splurges
$200 for Keith Urban tickets for Kate’s birthday. 

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