Advertisement
City

This public-sector lawyer makes $103,000 a year. How does she spend it?

“It doesn’t bother me that I’ll probably never own a home”

By Roxy Kirshenbaum| Photography by Brittany Carmichael
This public-sector lawyer makes $103,000 a year. How does she spend it?

Who: Sophie Rogowska, 35 What she does: She’s a litigator specializing in administrative law What she makes: $103,000 Where she lives: A one-bedroom apartment in St. Clair West Village


Regular Expenses

Rent: $2,089 a month. “When I moved here in 2018, I fell in love with this unit. I’ve never felt the desire to own a home, so it doesn’t bother me that I probably never will.”

Utilities: $100 to $150 a month. “This includes hydro, gas and internet, which are shared with the downstairs tenant.”

Cell: $39 a month. “I’m stingy about mobile, so I use SpeakOut Wireless from 7-Eleven. I also buy refurbished phones instead of new ones, since they’re just as good and you get to divert a phone from the landfill.”

Groceries: $280 a month. “I live right beside No Frills. That helps keep food costs low. During the summer, I go to the Wychwood Barns Farmers Market. The quality is unbeatable.”

More Toronto Budgets

Editor’s Letter: My salary? None of your business
City

Editor’s Letter: My salary? None of your business

Going out: $200 to $300 a month. “I never want to say no to an invitation from a friend. I’ll go to museums, picnics, dances, yoga, community theatre—anything new and exciting. In Toronto, there’s something for everyone, at any price point. You just have to look.”

Transportation: $143 a month for a TTC pass. “I learned how to drive 15 years ago—and then forgot, so I rely on transit.”

Subscriptions: $40 a month. “I use a lot of apps to organize my life, like Todoist, YNAB and Plan to Eat. I cancelled Netflix because I didn’t like the feeling of being behind on my TV-watching.”

Clothing: $20 a month. “I hate shopping for clothes and avoid it. Most of my new stuff comes from swaps with friends. Not only is it cheaper—it’s a lot of fun.”

Hair: $70 a month. “The only downside of having a short hairstyle is frequent haircuts.”

Investing: $600 a month. “This is a monthly Questrade auto deposit that goes straight into ETFs. I’m not sure what I’m saving for, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.”

Debt payments: $0. “I used to work in the bankruptcy field, so I have a phobia of credit card debt. I paid off my student debt two years ago. I went to law school in Montreal, where tuition and the cost of living are much less. I think I’d still be in debt if I’d studied here.”

Advertisement

Donations: $500 a month. “I support GiveDirectly and the North York Harvest Food Bank as well as refugee and climate action non-profits.”

Storage and plants in Sophie Rogowska's apartment
A one-bedroom apartment in St. Clair West Village
The kitchen in a one-bedroom rental in St. Clair West Village
Sophie Rogowska watering her plants in St. Clair West Village
Recent Splurges

Nikon Z 50 camera: $1,400. “I took up photography during the pandemic and recently upgraded my equipment.”

Photography courses: $785. “I wanted some in-person learning, so I registered for two continuing-education classes through George Brown College.”

Deck storage: $440. “I needed something lockable to stop the critters from getting into my balcony gardening supplies. I was shocked at how much it cost.”

Advertisement

Flight to Poland: $2,500. “After my grandmother died, I went for her funeral. It was expensive because it was last minute and coincided with Easter, but it was worth it to be there with my family.”

Vacation: $2,670. “I went to Buenos Aires for 10 days to visit a friend, take pictures and tango. I also found a long-lost relative’s grave in the Jewish cemetery, which was an incredibly moving experience.”

NEVER MISS A TORONTO LIFE STORY

Sign up for This City, our free newsletter about everything that matters right now in Toronto politics, sports, business, culture, society and more.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Big Stories