Advertisement
Life

“Going to a coffee shop is my indulgence”: how Valentina Leucona, a student and recent immigrant, lives on $1,200 a month

"Going to a coffee shop is my indulgence": how Valentina Leucona, a student and recent immigrant, lives on $1,200 a month
(Image: Gabby Frank)

Who: Valentina Leucona, 26, who moved to Toronto from Venezuela in August.

What she does: Advertising account management student at Centennial College, and also a waitress at a private club downtown.

What she makes: $1,200 to $1,300 a month. (“I work about three or four nights a week, and I have another part-time job which is on-call. I’m a server there too, but only for functions, parties, weddings. I work anywhere from 25 to 30 hours a week.”)

Some of how she spends it: Rent on a basement studio apartment near Danforth and Woodbine: $900 a month. (“It’s very comfortable. It has everything. I don’t even have to pay for TV, internet, nothing. Everything’s included.”) Cell service: $45 per month. Monthly Metropass, with student discount: $112. $100 in monthly student-debt payments, starting in September. (“I’m nervous about paying those loans. Especially because I don’t have a permanent job right now, and it all depends on me getting an internship.”)

What she bought in one week: Zucchinis, eggplants and lightbulbs from Valu-mart: $8. (“I didn’t spend a lot on groceries because my fridge was fully stocked. I buy milk and meat in bulk. I spend about $150 on groceries per month.”) Tax return: $31. Resumé copies: $5. (“I’m applying for internships.”) Coffee: $0. (“I have my coffee pot here at the house. Actually going to the coffee shop is, like, my indulgence.”)

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

The Latest

Everything to eat at Waterworks Food Hall, the new 55,000 square-foot, European-style destination for gourmet bites
Food & Drink

Everything to eat at Waterworks Food Hall, the new 55,000 square-foot, European-style destination for gourmet bites