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One Year of FIRE Life Interviews: Numbers, Observations, and Insights

How much does it cost to live the FIRE life interview series

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One year of How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life interviews

When I started this series in January 2021, I had no idea it would take off like it did! Interview requests flooded in, and it took me a year of biweekly publishing to work through the long queue.

I thought it’d be nice to create this bonus post to celebrate the one-year milestone for this series. In it, I’ll look back on the year of interviews, compare my interviewees’ spending, and share my insights and final takeaways. 

I hope you enjoy revisiting the interviews with me! 

Note: All expenses in this post were converted to Canadian dollars. Please see the original interviews for numbers in the interviewees’ home currencies.

About the interview series

I created an intro page for this interview series to help explain what it’s about, what’s included (or not) and why. I’ll also link to all the interviews from the intro page—so check back there to see the entire collection.

Jump to the series intro: How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life? (The Interview Series)

Disclosure: These interviews may include affiliate links. That means I’ll receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links—at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Part 1: Comparison tables

Numbers nerds are going to love this section! There was a lot of data to compare, so I created three separate tables to display the numbers:

  1. Major categories
  2. Big three expenses
  3. Other expenses


Before we dive in, here are some notes on the tables:

  • The tables are sortable—click each column to sort the data in ascending or descending order.
  • To make comparisons clearer and simpler, all expenses have been converted to Canadian dollars. (To view each interviewee’s numbers in their home currency, click on their name to go to their interview.)
  • All numbers were collected in a single year (2021). Therefore, my assumption is that inflation and currency fluctuations were minor enough to ignore.

Table 1: Major categories 

This table displays the total expenses for each major category in the spending reports. Here are some additional notes for this table:

  • Housing: many of my interviewees are mortgage-free, so I didn’t include mortgage payments in the tables. (This makes it easier to compare apples to apples.)
  • Transportation: I also didn’t include auto loan payments for the same reasons.
  • Ppl. stands for people and refers to the number of people the expenses cover—not how many people actually live in the home. (For example, some interviewees live with a partner or roommate, but they keep separate expenses. Therefore, in this series, they’re counted as one person.)
  • U&B stands for utilities and bills.
  • Cost/p stands for cost per person. This is to level the playing field between large families and couples or single people. I know it’s not the most accurate comparison, but it does provide another interesting data point. 

Note: Scroll left ⬅ to see all the columns. (On desktop, find the scrollbar at the bottom of each table.) 

Al2CanadaNear Vancouver$7,293$7,123$5,232$3,191$492$23,331$11,666AlNear Vancouver
T3CanadaNear Fredericton$8,640$9,912$12,420$6,648$5,652$43,272$14,424TNear Fredericton
Fire Trekker1CanadaLévis$6,654$1,380$2,840$1,230$240$12,344$12,344Fire TrekkerLévis
Nadia2CanadaNorth Vancouver$7,092$2,940$9,600$2,652$3,600$25,884$12,942NadiaNorth Vancouver
Money Mechanic2CanadaVictoria$6,036$2,160$10,800$4,236$2,820$26,052$13,026Money MechanicVictoria
Carrie5USANear Detroit$16,002$5,593$9,271$9,144$14,707$54,717$10,943CarrieNear Detroit
Steve2USASouthern Arkansas$6,825$10,166$7,620$10,975$42,664$78,251$39,126SteveSouthern Arkansas
Adam2USASalt Lake City$31,977$3,183$14,836$5,749$9,811$66,186$33,093AdamSalt Lake City
John1USABay Area$14,935$3,856$9,144$4,923$2,515$35,372$35,372JohnBay Area
Marjolein1NetherlandsNear Amsterdam$6,090$609$1,740$500$2,842$11,781$11,781MarjoleinNear Amsterdam
Hi FI-ing Auntie1SingaporeSingapore$1,903$2,832$7,930$1,699$14,273$28,637$14,319Hi FI-ing AuntieSingapore
Sarah and Laura2AustraliaAdelaide$2,780$1,987$4,887$3,573$4,029$17,257$8,628Sarah and LauraAdelaide

Table 2: Big three expenses 

I wanted to get more granular with the big three expenses (housing, transportation, food), so I created a second table for those. Here are some additional notes:

  • Prop. tax stands for property tax.
  • Home ins. stands for home insurance.
  • I broke down the costs per vehicle or person to make comparisons clearer. Therefore:
    • Car Ins./v stands for car insurance per vehicle.
    • Gas/v stands for gas per vehicle.
    • Groc./p stands for groceries per person.
    • Eat. out/p stands for eating out per person.

Note: Scroll left ⬅ to see all the columns. (On desktop, find the scrollbar at the bottom of each table.) 

NamePeopleCountryCity/townProp. TaxHome Ins.Car Ins./vGas/vGroc/pEat. out/pNameCity/town
Al2CanadaNear Vancouver$2,979$1,026$1,030$1,290$1,506$1,110AlNear Vancouver
T3CanadaNear Fredericton$3,336$2,064$600$1,158$3,600$540TNear Fredericton
Fire Trekker1CanadaLévis--$1,152$960$2,600$240Fire TrekkerLévis
Nadia2CanadaNorth Vancouver$1,572$600$1,800$420$2,400$2,400NadiaNorth Vancouver
Money Mechanic2CanadaVictoria$3,396$840$1,080$480$4,200$1,200Money MechanicVictoria
Carrie5USANear Detroit$9,144$2,286$1,524$1,524$1,651$203CarrieNear Detroit
Steve2USASouthern Arkansas$2,031$4,034$720$1,323$2,477$1,334SteveSouthern Arkansas
Adam2USASalt Lake City-$202$1,913$432$4,743$2,675AdamSalt Lake City
John1USABay Area$9,708$1,417$1,448$1,524$7,315$1,829JohnBay Area
Marjolein1NetherlandsNear Amsterdam----$1,392$348MarjoleinNear Amsterdam
Hi FI-ing Auntie2SingaporeSingapore$227---$1,699$2,266Hi FI-ing AuntieSingapore
Sarah and Laura2AustraliaAdelaide$891$804$1,173$543$1,629$815Sarah and LauraAdelaide

Table 3: Other expenses

For this table, I selected a handful of expenses that I was interested in comparing. (There was no real rhyme or reason to the selection—it was primarily based on my curiosity.) Here are some additional notes for this table:

  • Some categories were added later in the series, so some interviewees don’t have numbers for these. This is denoted with a dash.
  • Nat. gas stands for natural gas.
  • Tot. energy stands for total energy (natural gas + electricity).
  • Medical is total medical costs (insurance + out-of-pocket).
  • C&F stands for clothing and footwear.
  • Pers. care stands for personal care.

Note: Scroll left ⬅ to see all the columns. (On desktop, find the scrollbar at the bottom of each table.) 

NamePeopleCountryCity/townNat. gasElectricityTot. energyInternetMedicalC&FPers. careTechNameCity/town
Al2CanadaNear Vancouver$612$612$1,224$605$0$492--AlNear Vancouver
T3CanadaNear Fredericton$0$3,180$3,180$1,200$3,108$924$540$276TNear Fredericton
Fire Trekker1CanadaLévis$0$360$360$330$0$240$0$100Fire TrekkerLévis
Nadia2CanadaNorth Vancouver$0$360$360$888$0$1,200$480$0NadiaNorth Vancouver
Money Mechanic2CanadaVictoria$1,200$1,200$2,400$540$1,200$720$720$180Money MechanicVictoria
Carrie5USANear Detroit$1,829$1,372$3,200$1,829$9,144$2,286$2,667$762CarrieNear Detroit
Steve2USASouthern Arkansas$312$3,645$3,957$3,623$34,478$2,286$991$381SteveSouthern Arkansas
Adam2USASalt Lake City$381$876$1,257$1,981$4,940$605$3,658$610AdamSalt Lake City
John1USABay Area$823$792$1,615$914$1,600$305$610$1,270JohnBay Area
Marjolein1NetherlandsNear Amsterdam$0$0$0$0$2,633$0$209$0MarjoleinNear Amsterdam
Hi FI-ing Auntie2SingaporeSingapore$227$227$453$453$5,891$1,669$3,398$1,133Hi FI-ing AuntieSingapore
Sarah and Laura2AustraliaAdelaide$728$858$1,586$760$2,889$434$272$0Sarah and LauraAdelaide

Part 2: My observations and insights

In a year of How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life interviews, I interviewed 26 guests from eight countries and 24 cities/towns! There was a wide variety in lifestyle and expenses.

However, despite the differences, some interesting commonalities, patterns and insights emerged. Below, I’ll share my top three observations on each of the main expense categories. 

Let me know in the comments if you agree/disagree with my observations or have any other insights to share!

Reminder: All expenses in this post were converted to Canadian dollars. Please see the original interviews for numbers in the interviewees’ home currencies.

1. Housing

The #1 differentiator

When people talk about HCOL (high cost of living) and LCOL (low cost of living) areas, I always assumed it meant everything in those areas was more expensive/cheaper. However, this series has shown me otherwise.

I was surprised to find that home and auto insurance, gas, and groceries were not huge factors in determining whether a city or town was HCOL or LCOL.

Instead, it mostly comes down to housing. It’s, by far, the most significant expense that differentiates HCOL and LCOL areas. (More specifically, it’s the cost to purchase or rent a home, plus the cost of property or council tax, that makes an area expensive to live in.)

Note: Since mortgage payments were not included in the comparison tables, this observation isn’t clearly reflected in the data. Instead, it’s based on research I did on each city/town, along with info I gleaned from the interviews.

Property taxes vary wildly

Property taxes were both surprising… and not. For example, they’re shockingly low in:

But in North America, the usual culprits emerged for their notoriously high property taxes: 

  • Bay Area, CA ($9,708 for John).
  • Kitchener, ON ($6,710 for Ana).
  • Vancouver, BC ($6,251 for Chrissy).

There were also surprises in North America—Detroit and Omaha are both below-average for cost of living in the US. And yet, two of my interviewees pay very high property taxes there: 

  • Omaha, NE ($7,422 for Jonathan).
  • Near Detroit, MI ($9,144 for Carrie).

Note: In both cases, the high taxes are due to these being nicer areas with more amenities and/or ongoing community improvements.

Overall, my eyes have been opened. On one hand, I can’t believe how low property taxes can be in some areas (while still offering excellent public infrastructure).

On the other hand, as high as Vancouver’s property taxes are, I now see that it could be worse!

One of the best housing hacks

If you’re flexible and willing to share your space with others, living with a roommate (or two) can lead to massive savings on housing. Here are three interviewees who did just that:

  • Veronica reduced her housing costs significantly by living with roommates during her year as a nomad. This cut her rent down to only 200€ ($290 CAD) per month when she lived in Spain!
  • Marjolein lives with her partner near Amsterdam (a costly part of the world). And yet, her total cost of living is the lowest in the entire series! A huge contributor to her low expenses is her ability to split housing and other costs with her partner.
  • Fire Trekker lives in Lévis, Québec and is the second-lowest spender in my interview series. Like Marjolein, she keeps her expenses impressively low by splitting rent and other expenses with her sister, who’s her roommate.

Admittedly, living with others requires patience, flexibility and a lot of mutual consideration. However, it could be one of the most impactful ways to save on housing and other expenses. Co-living is definitely worth considering!

Related: Learn more about my favourite house hack—hosting international homestay students.

2. Transportation

LCOL areas usually require a car

Areas where the cost of living is low tend to be areas where housing is more affordable. However, this comes at a price. These areas tend to have little or no transit and are usually not walkable or bikeable. 

That means you must own a car to get around in these areas. Depending on your driving habits, the number of vehicles, and distance from work and amenities, this factor could make living in a LCOL area more expensive.  

Going car-free is a huge savings

Unsurprisingly, if you can go car-free, you can save big on your essential spending. However, this is generally only an option in areas with higher density to support good transit, walkable neighbourhoods, and an extensive bike lane network. (These areas also tend to be HCOL.) 

Several of my Interviewees live in such high-density, HCOL areas and are car-free: Steve in Taipei, Hi FI-ing Auntie in Singapore, and Veronica in Toronto. They make good use of their well-developed public infrastructure and live very affordably in these expensive cities. 

Going transit-free is an even bigger savings

Some interviewees take it one step further and either forgo or limit their use of public transit! Marjolein near Amsterdam and Kathrin in London exclusively or mainly ride their bikes to get around. And Syun in Tokyo doesn’t even bike—he walks everywhere!

Walking and biking to get around costs little or nothing and is a much healthier way to live. It’s also a lovely way to connect with your local community. Wouldn’t it be great if all our cities and towns were designed for easy, safe walking and biking?

3. Food

Save big by cooking at home

It’s cheaper to buy your own groceries and cook at home, no matter where you live (even in areas with cheap takeout). You get way more bang for your buck because you’re not paying for the labour and overhead that restaurants need to cover.

In addition, preparing your own food can save time (if you use simple recipes) and be much healthier. Yes, it takes effort to cook at home. But think about the savings and other benefits—it’s very much worth doing!

Save even more by reducing meat consumption

Eating less meat is one of the main reasons my family of four can eat well on only $550 per month in groceries! It was great to see that many of my interviewees also limit their meat intake or are vegetarians:

Eating more of a plant-based diet is not only cheaper, but it’s also healthier and so much better for the environment. 

Grocery costs: HCOL versus LCOL

Based on the interviews in this series, my observation is that grocery costs are slightly higher in LCOL areas. This may be due to the distance the food needs to travel from larger centres out to smaller areas. 

There may also be less competition and selection in these areas, leading to slightly higher grocery costs. However, the differences are minor. People in LCOL areas more than make up for this difference with the savings on their cost of housing! 

4. Utilities and bills

More home = more energy used

Energy use is just one area where apartment dwellers save big! The most obvious reason for this is the compactness of apartments compared to detached homes. Another reason is that surrounding apartments help to heat others adjacent to them.

Beyond this, I had difficulty drawing additional conclusions from my interviewees’ energy costs. It’s hard to say which other factors have the most effect. I suspect it’s a combination of all of the below:

  • Local weather patterns.
  • Personal conservation efforts.
  • Age and condition of the home.
  • Price of energy.
  • Type(s) of energy used.

Maybe I’m missing something—if you see any patterns in the numbers, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Home phones are pretty much extinct

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was—almost none of my interviewees have home phones! As interview after interview came back with $0 for home phones, I thought about deleting the category. But on second thought, I’ll leave it in; it’s a quaint reminder of days gone by.


I was hoping to see some clear patterns here, but this was another category where I couldn’t do that. For example, I’d always heard that internet service is much cheaper and faster in Asia. 

And yet, when I look at internet costs for all of my interviewees, it’s a mixed bag! The numbers don’t take internet speed into account, but my assumption is everyone pays for decent speed. (We all need that now, with how connected we need to be these days.)

However, I found it interesting to see the wide range in how much my interviewees spend on their internet services—between $0 and $3,623. 

5. Other essentials

Medical expenses

Unsurprisingly, my American interviewees top the list for highest medical expenses. Everyone hears about how expensive medical insurance in the US can be. Still, it’s really striking to contrast it with the costs in other countries.

I feel for American FIRE seekers who have to plan for this enormous expense in retirement. Even worse, I worry for the people who can’t afford even basic coverage. 🙁

However, those of us in countries with universal healthcare can’t get too smug about it! We still have out-of-pocket costs that rival some Americans’ medical bills. 

As a final observation, my interviewees with the lowest medical expenses:

  • Don’t have kids and/or
  • Are young and healthy and/or
  • Have excellent medical coverage from their governments or jobs.

Wherever you live, one of the best ways to save on medical costs is to live as healthy of a lifestyle as possible. Fortunately, that also means you’ll end up saving money too (by eating less, eating more veggies, walking and biking more, etc.)

FIRE seekers aren’t fashionistas! 

My interviewees are a practical, frugal bunch when it comes to spending on clothing, footwear and personal care! I was pleasantly surprised by the number of interviewees who said, “I don’t really care what I wear, and I wear my clothes until they’re worn out!”

Ryan from Spokane and her partner are especially thoughtful with their clothing—they buy well-made items, shop in thrift stores or on eBay, and even sew and knit their own clothes!

Of those who spend more on clothing, footwear and personal care, these were their reasons for doing so: 

  • They need quality or specialized items for their activities.
  • They prefer to spend more on higher-quality items (for comfort and durability).
  • They have kids who continuously outgrow their clothes.
  • They or their partners value good haircuts (which can be pricey).

Whatever the case, it appears that most interviewees are thoughtful with their spending in these areas. They’re frugal when they can be, but they also see the value in spending more for quality.

Technology isn’t a priority

Most of my interviewees are also practical and frugal when it comes to technology—very few splurge on the latest tech. Most buy used and/or use their technology for as long as possible. (I was especially impressed with Money Mechanic‘s suggestion to buy used gaming laptops!)

These days, consumer electronics are essentially treated as disposable. It’s refreshing to know so many people are committed to getting the most life from their devices. It’s good for the wallet and good for the Earth.

Part 3: Top 5 lists

I thought it would be fun to list my top 5 interviewees in eight different categories (not that it’s a competition)! 

Reminder: All expenses in this post were converted to Canadian dollars. Please see the original interviews for numbers in the interviewees’ home currencies.

1. Lowest total

  1. Marjolein (single)—near Amsterdam, Netherlands: $11,781
  2. Fire Trekker (single)—Lévis, Canada: $12,344
  3. Syun (couple)—Tokyo, Japan: $14,560
  4. Sarah and Laura (couple)—Adelaide, Australia: $17,257
  5. Steve (couple)—Taipei, Taiwan: $18,639

2. Highest total

  1. Steve (couple)—Southern Arkansas, USA: $78,251
  2. Adam (couple)—Salt Lake City, USA: $66,186
  3. Jonathan (family of four)—Omaha, USA: $58,842
  4. Carrie (family of five)—Near Detroit, USA: $54,717 
  5. Ana (family of six)—Kitchener, Canada: $44,673

3. Most affordable housing

  1. Syun (couple)—Tokyo, Japan: $1,320
  2. Hi FI-ing Auntie (single)—Singapore: $1,903
  3. Sarah and Laura (couple)—Adelaide, Australia: $2,780
  4. Chris (family of four)—Kelowna, Canada: $3,540
  5. Richard (family of four)—Singapore: $4,863

4. Most expensive housing (renters)

  1. Lionel (couple)—London, England: $32,446
  2. Adam (couple)—Salt Lake City: $31,077 
  3. Kathrin (single)—London, England: $21,094
  4. Vi (couple)—Pittsburgh, USA: $12,192
  5. Steve (couple)—Taipei, Taiwan: $9,850

5. Most expensive housing (homeowners)

  1. Carrie (family of five)—Near Detroit, USA: $16,002
  2. John (single)—Bay Area, USA: $14,935
  3. Ana (family of six)—Kitchener, Canada: $13,110
  4. Jonathan (family of four)—Omaha, USA: $10,104
  5. T (family of three)—Near Fredericton, Canada: $8,640

6. Lowest transportation cost

  1. Syun (couple)—Tokyo, Japan: $0
  2. Marjolein (single)—near Amsterdam, Netherlands: $609
  3. Kathrin (single)—London, England: $826
  4. Steve (couple)—Taipei, Taiwan: $952
  5. Fire Trekker (single)—Lévis, Canada: $1,380

7. Lowest per-person grocery bill

  1. Marjolein (single)—near Amsterdam, Netherlands: $1,392
  2. Steve (couple)—Taipei, Taiwan: $1,408
  3. Kathrin (single)—London, England: $1,445
  4. Al (couple)—Near Vancouver, Canada: $1,506
  5. Vi (couple)—Pittsburgh, USA: $1,524

8. Lowest per-person cost

  1. Court (family of three)—Cochrane, Canada: $6,649
  2. Richard (family of four)—Singapore: $7,107
  3. Chrissy (family of four)—Vancouver, Canada: $7,273
  4. Syun (couple)—Tokyo, Japan: $7,280
  5. Ana (family of six)—Kitchener, Canada: $7,446

Part 4: Closing thoughts 

I had a vision for how this series would play out; thanks to my amazing interviewees, the series more than exceeded my expectations! Through their stories, we were able to take a peek into FIRE lives all over the world. 

This is something I’ve always had a fascination with—how do other FIRE seekers approach their spending? Are other Canadians like us? What about people who live in other countries?

My interviewees helped us tour the world from our computers and phones, all through the lens of FIRE. I loved every minute of it!

But they didn’t stop there—through their spending reports, we could see how much it costs to live in 24 different cities around the world (and how to save on the essentials all of us spend on). 

Smashing FIRE myths

Finally, I’d like to once again point out and smash the FIRE myths that mainstream media love to repeat—that FIRE requires deprivation, frugality at all costs, and miserable austerity. 

And yet, not a single one of my interviewees mentioned any of those negatives in their interviews. Instead, they showed that living a FIRE life is about happiness, fulfilment, and finding value in what you spend. 

There’s no deprivation. No misery. Just a lot of joy and mindfulness about where we spend our dollars. If you ask me, I’ll take living a frugal, thoughtful FIRE life over a mainstream lifestyle any day!

Thank you

In closing, I’d like to thank my interviewees for being such willing, open subjects. Without you, there wouldn’t have been a series! I’d also like to thank my readers for engaging with my interviewees and me. You made it fun and rewarding to publish and share these interviews.

I look forward to continuing to share more interviews as they come in. Watch for a new one every month or so (unless I run out—in which case, I’ll publish new interviews as I receive them).

Share your thoughts

If you’ve been a regular reader of this series (or even if you just discovered it), I would love to hear your thoughts. What were the biggest surprises for you? Do you see any patterns or trends that I missed? Share your comments below!

Wondering how much it costs to live the FIRE life as a nomadic couple? (It’s probably less than you think!) My interviewee, Mr. Nomad Numbers, shares all in this interview!

Veronica has a unique FIRE story to share, and we broke the mold for her interview! Find out how much it cost her to live in Toronto, then as a nomad, then back in Toronto.

Visit the intro page to learn more about the what and why behind the series and access the complete list of interviews.

Support this blog

If you liked this article and want more content like this, please support this blog by sharing it! Not only does it help spread the FIRE, but it lets me know what content you find most useful. (Which encourages me to write more of it!) 

You can also support this blog by visiting my recommendations page and purchasing through the links. Note that not every link is an affiliate link—some are just favourite products and services that I want to share. 🙂

As always, however you show your support for this blog—THANK YOU!

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  • Reply
    Debbie Chabot
    February 9, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks so much for putting this together. This is super motivating to see what these families have been able to do. I’m a couple years into my fire path now and have made major positive changes but see that there’s so much more we could do to get there a little (or lot) faster!

    • Reply
      February 9, 2022 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Debbie—I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve enjoyed and benefit from seeing the numbers of my interviewees. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I created this series!

      Congrats on the progress you’ve made in your FIRE journey so far!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Amazing series, Chrissy! Happy to see I came in at #4 for lowest per-person grocery bill! Wohoo!

    I am amazed at how one can be so frugal in cities I otherwise thought were expensive, and how expensive it can be to live in cities I thought would be inexpensive!

    I’ve learned a lot from this series already, and am looking forward to even more in 2022!

    • Reply
      February 9, 2022 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Al—your and your wife keep your expenses very low, especially considering where you live. That #4 spot is well earned!

      I’m so happy to hear that you’re also learning from this series. It’s definitely busted my preconceived notions about cost of living in different places.

      Thanks for your support of the series, including being my inaugural guest! I’m also looking forward to more in 2022. 🙂

  • Reply
    Financial Freedom Countdown
    February 10, 2022 at 12:16 am

    Thanks Chrissy. I had no idea that property taxes in Detroit would be so high. On the other hand I realize that my FIRE budget has a huge cushion in terms of housing cost which I can tap if I need to in the future.

    • Reply
      February 10, 2022 at 8:55 pm

      Hi John—it was a huge surprise to me too, about the property taxes near Detroit. Granted, it’s outside of Detroit and Carrie, who lives there, tells me it’s a beautiful area with great schools, etc. So perhaps it’s an anomaly in that area? Regardless, it’s still eye-opening to realize that you can’t just assume that all LCOL areas are truly low-cost!

      That’s an excellent point—if you’ve budgeted for the high cost of housing where you are, you’re pretty much set to live almost anywhere!

  • Reply
    Maria @ Handful of Thoughts
    February 10, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you for all of the work you put into compiling the numbers for this Chrissy. I especially appreciated the per person breakdowns. Sometimes its difficult to compare overall numbers when one family may have 2 people and another may have 7. I t think the per person breakdown shows a new level of comparison. You can really see the who the optimizers are – ha ha.

    • Reply
      February 10, 2022 at 9:01 pm

      Hi Maria—I was happy to do it! I wanted to see all the numbers in one place like this, so it also scratched an itch for me, ha ha. I’m glad to hear you liked the per-person breakdowns. I wasn’t sure if I should include them, but now I’m glad I did. 🙂 Yes, this series sure gives optimizers some time to shine, LOL!

  • Reply
    Moe (Moementum Finance)
    February 11, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    This is awesome Chrissy! Also congrats for making it to the top 4th spot in terms of lowest cost per people (person)! 😊 The table that includes a tabular list of all of the interviews and allows easy sorting of numbers is so helpful. Thanks for putting it together.

    • Reply
      February 12, 2022 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Moe—thanks, as always, for reading and commenting. I was surprised that I made it onto any lists since many of my interviewees are so optimized! I’m happy to hear the tables were useful (they took a lot of time to create)!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Yes, I looked at the medical. As a Canadian born and lived here all my life, I can’t even begin a stress Chrissy, we have to protect the public health care system. When one gets cancer in the U.S. it is shocking what is required in terms of payments. Whereas my father had cancer and also my great nephew had brain cancer as baby. They both each died …their families not at all financially impacted. They both live in Metro Toronto. All of this happening in past 8 yrs.

    I have several siblings who work in Toronto hospitals. 1 of them is a physician.

    Yes, we may pay higher taxes…but there is a reason for this..part of it is public health care system.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2022 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Jean—I’m so sorry to hear about your father and great nephew. How heartbreaking. Thank goodness your family didn’t also have to worry about the financial cost for their care.

      You’re right, though. As imperfect as our healthcare system may be, at least we won’t be financially ruined should illnesses and injuries strike.

      I feel for families where quality care isn’t available or is financially out of reach. That’s a huge burden that no one should have to carry. 😕

  • Reply
    Impersonal Finances
    February 18, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    This is an incredible collection of data for personal finance nerds! Naturally, I especially enjoyed comparing myself to a fellow Bay Area resident (fairly similar!). My personal takeaways relative to my own budget are that I benefit greatly from the roommate hack–almost a necessity out here–and need to cook at home more! Great series and great presentation.

    • Reply
      February 18, 2022 at 8:22 pm

      Hi Impersonal Finances—that’s cool to hear that your numbers are similar to John’s! Roommates are an amazing hack to significantly lower your housing costs. Good for you for doing it. It’s not for everyone, but you can benefit hugely if you can do it!

  • Reply
    Bob Wen
    April 24, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Wow! That must have been a lot of work Chrissy. Being able to sort the columns is great. It interesting to see the bloggers I follow come out well in this analysis. Proof they practice what they preach.

    Going though this data I can see that we still have room to make cuts in our spending, but there are reasons behind why we haven’t: 1) Landline – elderly family members far far away, 2) Vet bills – our pet dog of 10 years has developed diabetes requiring daily injections, if she doesn’t get the injections, she dies ☹, 3) Two vehicles – one is a backup as we live far from a town, and 4) Satellite TV – my wife will cut my fingers off if I cancel it! It costs us $72 a month so it’s certainly not worth losing any fingers over.

    It was a surprise to hear that the Explore FI Canada podcast show has ended, but there’s only so much one can do. Thank you and Money Mechanic for everything you put into the show.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2022 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Bob—I’m happy to hear you used the sortable columns! It was a lot of work to enter the info, but I think it was worth it. 🙂

      You and your wife are more frugal than most, so I think you can safely spend on the items you listed and still not even come close to breaking the bank! Regardless, all necessary purchases (we want healthy pups and all of your fingers intact) so you should continue to spend that money guilt-free!

      It was a sad and difficult decision to leave Explore FI Canada, but there’s some exciting recent news: the show is coming back! Money Mechanic and I are passing the baton two new co-hosts, and will be recording a few episodes with them to introduce them and transition the show. So… you haven’t heard the last of us yet! 😉

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