Where, with who, and how to live in TO

As a twenty-something who’s looking to move out, it’s important to focus on where, with who, and how to live in the city. For me, these items were heavy on my mind for a considerable amount of time before I swapped my lifelong family roommates for someone new.

First, think about where you would like to live. It’s important to move to a neighbourhood and living environment that you’re comfortable with and is convenient for your lifestyle. For me, I knew I needed to live in an apartment because I needed parking (while most houses will say they have access to parking in their online posting, most property managers will later tell you to just get a street permit) – this meant I likely wasn’t living in the Annex or Ossington. I also knew I wanted to downtown versus midtown or somewhere too east or west along the Bloor line.

Second, it’s important to seriously consider who you would like to live with. As much as I love my best friends, there are some of them Iย knowย I absolutely could never live with. Some people know they want to live alone, but I knew I’d get lonely without a roommate. When I was first planning to move to the city I intended to live with one of my girlfriends from school, but it didn’t work out and I ended up living with an acquaintance. Although Mike and I didn’t know each other very well, before we made the final decision to move in together, we had a serious and honest conversation. We provided our expectations of each other, lifestyle choices and regular routines. So far, so good. Communication is important.

Lastly, it’s important to plan how to live. When I first moved out on my own, I quickly discovered that I could not live the same way I did when living with Mom & Dad. The reality is rent eats a significant portion of my paycheck, and most twenty-somethings have a similar experience. I definitely had to cut down my spending, but it gets easier and easier each month. A few tips:

  • walk as much as possible, take the TTC when needed, but try to avoid cabs at all costs;
  • while it’s okay to eat out every now and then, go grocery shopping and pack lunches;
  • visit the sale rack; and
  • always ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”

Believe me, your wallet will thank you.

Do you have any tips for adjusting to moving out of the nest? Please share ๐Ÿ™‚

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3 thoughts on “Where, with who, and how to live in TO

  1. The biggest challenge for me when I moved to the city was groceries. Many areas have great entertainment spots (e.g. restaurants and bars) but no decent grocery stores closeby. Generally speaking there are four types of grocery stores in the city:
    1. Sobey’s Fresh – expensive; not a great product line depth;
    2. Rabba – also expensive but it’s open 24hr;
    3. Independent fruit/veggie/meat markets – usually great prices and selection but limited only to some neighbourhoods;
    4. Convenient stores – self-explanatory; maybe your best friend if you don’t mind buying milk for $7.

    So, before picking a spot, it’s worth considering where you can do your groceries and what the prices are like in the local store. In many cases it’s almost as expensive as going to a restaurant.

  2. I’m so relieved I’m not the only twenty-something who feels this way. I feel like a hampster running on its wheel; I’m working long, hard hours and my pay cheque is gone the moment I received it. And I’m being wise not to spend carelessly! With rent, utilities and the lovely student loans I continue to feel like the broke student…but keep it up twenty-somethings…it will start to pay off! (haha no pun intended :p)

    As for leaving the nest, I love my family, but I couldn’t wait to peace out! I just moved into my own little apartment this year and that’s when it hit me — I’ve NEVER had my own bathroom to myself in 20-something years! It’s absolutely glorious…I can leave my makeup and straightner out and nobody can get upset with me if I leave a wet towel on the floor :p

    Sandy, all this talk about roomies reminds me of our roommate days. Good times ๐Ÿ™‚

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