Save. Spend. Splurge.

How much will working cost me in Toronto versus Montreal?

As you all may have read, I gave up a $250,000 contract in another city to stay local and at home every night with Baby Bun.

I was pretty bummed about the whole situation, but I do feel that I’ve made the right decision because I love seeing Baby Bun grow by leaps and bounds (even if I am currently still itching to go back to work ASAP..)

(As a side note, sometimes, I even think he understands what I am saying when I tell him it’s time for babies to nap or go to sleep.)

Anyway, I thought I’d do a financial comparison of freelancing in Ontario versus Quebec.

Since I don’t have a car (donated my last one to charity), I have the option of taking public transit (if possible), or buying a car.

I did the preliminary budgets for both, and the two major budget busters are DAYCARE and CAR INSURANCE.

See below.

NOTES

  • Rent, Food and “Other” (the rest of the budget stuff) stays the same between both cities
  • Everything is my half, my partner pays for the other half, so the daycare amounts you see for instance, are my half only
  • My income is not a factor in this because it fluctuates, but suffice it to say, it’s worth it for me to work.

TAKING PUBLIC TRANSIT

Budget-Montreal-versus-Toronto-Taking-Transit

 

PRIVATE DAYCARE VERSUS GOVERNMENT DAYCARE

Yes, the rest of Canada, EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT.

In Quebec, they have government daycares at $7/day, which is about $154 a month. It sounds great and all, but the waiting lists are LONGGGGG. People sign up to be on these lists while they’re pregnant or sometimes EVEN BEFORE they get pregnant.

O_o

I had no idea, so I didn’t even look into this stuff until after Baby Bun was born, and I signed up for every $7 daycare within a reasonable radius of where we’re living, but it looks like private daycares are where it’s at until I can find a spot for him.

Private daycare in Quebec can cost the same as in other provinces, at around $1425/month or on average $65/day, but the government acknowledges that it’s ridiculous and subsidizes it based on your income:

2014-Revenu-Quebec-Childcare-Subsidy-Chart

I am a freelancer who controls her income, so I can choose to take out as much or as little as I want in any given year. I am planning on staying under the income range listed there to get the maximum advantage of that 75% subsidy until I can find a $7/day daycare for Baby Bun.

We’re going to try and keep our household incomes under $34,000, but even if we go up higher, it isn’t so bad, even at the $93,000 range. 60% subsidized means at $1425/month, it will only cost us $570/month or $285 each.

Depending on if I have to buy a car or take the bus, I may need to take out more money, and subsequently, receive a lower daycare subsidy.

Not too shabby.

TAKING THE CAR

I’m also exploring the possibility of having to buy a car and drive it to work because it may be located in the middle of nowhere (so I can’t use public transit)… or just because I don’t want to take the bus in the dead of winter.

Aside from having to also spend about $2000 – $10,000 on buying a used car, this is what it’ll cost me on a monthly basis:

Budget-Montreal-versus-Toronto-Driving

CAR INSURANCE

So here’s another great perk of living in Quebec, the car insurance is way cheaper.

I guesstimated my insurance would be about $300 a month, and comparably speaking in Quebec, it would only be around $28 a month, or $300 a year for basic car insurance.

You just can’t beat that.

I’ve only really had car insurance in Quebec so I’ve never had to feel the pain of paying anything over $300/year, but I’ve heard horror stories.

Even if it’s only $150 a month, it’s still way more expensive than in Quebec.

So.. those are my budgets. I can expect to spend about $1700 – $2100 a month in net living expenses.

The $500/month for “other” is actually quite low, considering household expenses, household equipment, and Baby Bun needs, but I can make it work if it means I get to work.

If my partner is not working, I’m going to transition having him stay at home with Baby Bun (unless we manage to snag a $7/day daycare spot), and save the cost of daycare there.

There you have it.

How much does it cost for you to go to work?

11 Comments

  • atinuke

    Hi, I just joined your blog and I love you and your work.$ what you do is inspiring. Especially for those of us who just relocated here and don’t know much about the system. I am curious about what you do, could you do a blog on that, to help inspire people like me who is a stay home mum and looking to do something with herself. Your job sounds intriguing, tho I don’t know what you do.

  • Helen

    As long as the political climate doesn’t affect you too much, Bonjour Quebec indeed. 🙂

  • femmefrugality

    Holy moly is Quebec cheap! I pay almost half of your yearly car insurance premium in one month! And that’s the cheapest quote I could get without sacrificing the coverage we need as a family. And $7/day daycare….man. Around here, we only have private but some government assistance money if you’re below a certain income level. The competition for the daycares you’d actually want to send your kids to is fierce, much like your government run ones.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      The super basic coverage in Quebec is very cheap. I never take anything more than that with theft and so on because my car is usually a beater car. No one wants to break into it. 🙂

      The daycare competition is so fierce I am wondering if there’s a business to be made in all of this.

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    Doesn’t Quebec also have the highest taxes in the country (speaking from someone who pays the second-highest). So will the tax difference come into play as to how much you actually bring home? Granted, everything is in the “many hundreds” cheaper versus likely a $100 difference per month in tax.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      It doesn’t matter to me because as I mentioned, I’m a freelancer, so I control my income which means I control my taxes.

      In addition, I also take my income in dividends, and I am taxed very favourably as a result.

      See, my corporate tax is about 20%, then whatever I take out as dividends as a salary, gets taxed as my personal income… I can just take out a low amount. *shrug*

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.