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“Food and coffee are my vices”: How a 27-year-old kindergarten program director and part-time barista spends her money

By Roxy Kirshenbaum| Photography by Erin Leydon
"Food and coffee are my vices": How a 27-year-old kindergarten program director and part-time barista spends her money

Who: Charlene Sutherland, 27

What she does: Kindergarten program director and part-time Starbucks barista

What she makes: $55,000 a year

Where she lives: A one-bedroom basement apartment near Yonge and Lawrence

Regular expenses: Rent: $975 a month. “I wasn’t looking for a basement apartment, but the price was right and utilities were included.” Cat food and litter: $50 a month for her six-year-old tabby, Nero. Internet: $64 a month. Phone: $79 a month. “My old phone died, and I had to buy a new one. I’m paying it off in monthly instalments.” Groceries: $175 a month. Eating out: $150 a month. “Food and coffee are my vices. Thankfully, I get free drinks during my Starbucks shifts.” Transportation: $180 a month. “I take the TTC five or six times a day to get from one job to the next, plus the odd Uber ride.” Debt payments: $800 a month. “I just transferred my consumer debt to a zero per cent interest credit card. I want to have everything paid off by the end of 2019.” Subscriptions: $20 a month. “I share a Netflix account with my mom and got a cheap New York Times subscription during a holiday sale. I also use Spotify Premium—there are great kid-friendly playlists for work.”

Recent splurges: Petsafe Scoopfree litter box: $170. Candles, books and stationery: $211, from Indigo. “I couldn’t resist.” Travel: $102, for a round-trip train ticket to Montreal. “My boyfriend and I wanted to get out of the city for a few days.” Shoes: $85, for a pair of leather Converse. Concert ticket: $95, to see Seal at the Sony Centre. “He’s a bucket-list musician for me. It was worth every penny.”

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