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Almost Rich: an examination of the true cost of city living and why rich is never rich enough

Almost Rich
Craig Haynes

Craig Haynes
Household income: $165,000

Haynes, a 37-year-old national sales manager at TD Bank, has lived since 2009 in a rented one-bedroom on the 22nd floor of a condo tower at Yonge and Eglinton. He tries to stay debt-free, but occasionally he splurges on travel or a big-ticket toy, like the $7,500 Royal Enfield motorcycle he bought last year. “People think I make a lot of money,” he says, “but I lose so much of it in tax.”

HOW HE SPENDS IT

Monthly expenses | Rent: $1,750. Mortgage and property taxes on an Ottawa home he co-owns with his ex: $1,180. Groceries and eating out: $1,400. (“I often order pasta at Grazie or, if I’m in a celebratory mood, North 44°. I buy better cheese and other exotic ingredients at Pusateri’s, and because I cook at home a lot I pack leftovers for lunch.”) Wine: $800. (“I’ll spend anywhere from $15 on a Rhône to $100 on an Amarone, and I open a bottle almost every night. I’m one course away from sommelier certification, and they practically know my name at the Summerhill LCBO. “) Rogers Internet: $40. Clothes at Harry Rosen and shoes from online collectible sneaker stores: $1,000. (“My big buy last year was a couple of Zegna suits for $1,500 each.”) Live music: $200. (“I go to all kinds of concerts. Last year, I saw The Weeknd at Lee’s Palace as well as Gordon Lightfoot at Massey Hall.”)

Annual expenses | Lease, maintenance and insurance for a 2010 Honda Civic: $7,000. (“I’m at an age now that I don’t care as much about what kind of car I drive.”) Travel: $10,000. (“I go to Vegas three or four times a year, though not because I have a gambling problem—my perfect day in Vegas is spent poking around the city’s downtown nooks and dive bars, miles from the tourist zoo along the strip. And I’m a regular at the annual Coachella music festival in Southern California.”) RRSP contributions: $20,000.

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