Have I killed BF yet? (aka FB’s New Apartment)

As promised, our new apartment!

To recap, these are the changes we’ve made this month.

Metscan asked: Why is it that you’re chopping down the budget? Is it just a challenge for you?

Kind of, yes.

Well, for the grocery chops, BF was actually noticing he was getting a bit pudgy around the waist (I liked it.. like a built in pillow for me).

But he has actual health concerns with weight and when he notices it getting a bit out of control, he immediately takes action, instead of 50 pounds later.

So, it was mostly a health thing to start looking at what we eat each month, and we noticed that we were eating DOUBLE what we could eat, just because we liked to eat.

So instead of putting in double the amount of meat, or making an extra large cake, we just cut the portions in half (immediate savings) and from there, he became a demon at chopping the budget down, lower and lower.

As for the other cost saving measures, it was to be more eco-friendly (using less electricity), and the moving to a smaller studio was an experiment to simply see if we could do it and to start seeing what kind of space we need if we were to buy a home in the future, and how much we actually need to spend, to eat well, live well and be happy.

So here are the basic living breakdowns again, all amounts are per person for each month:


  • Rent: moved from a 1 bedroom to a studio
  • Internet: switched providers from Bell to Rogers
  • Groceries: BF was on a hell of a warpath since last month to cut our bill down. Totally not my idea.


To save money? Freaking awesome.

Now I can definitely say that a $1000/month budget works for me, because I have extra money left over for spending on eating out or whatever I choose to spend my $300/month on, if I decide to.


Er.. well the good news is that I haven’t killed BF yet.

No, seriously… we actually prefer a smaller studio over the large 1 bedroom for a couple of key reasons:

The kitchen has a bar top area allowing for added space and freedom to be in the kitchen at the same time. It means that while BF is in the kitchen I can be on the other side in the living area, preparing a meal, instead of jostling him in the kitchen for space.

We don’t have much furniture, so the room now feels “juuuuust right”, instead of too spacious. That may sound odd to some of you, but too much space, felt too empty. We didn’t feel comfortable with such an open space, after selling our furniture. It seemed like such a waste.

Didn’t spend much time in the bedroom during the day in the old apartment, so being in a studio where the living room IS the bedroom, it’s perfect for our little futon as a bed & couch lifestyle.

And we love the little closet/storage room just off the bathroom, because we can come out of the bathroom and have a little private area to dress in and dry off instead of walking straight into an apartment, or feeling cramped.


Walking in, this is what our front hall way looks like.

The front closet is actually my clothing closet. I don’t have much here, and I packed my winter stuff into storage. You’ll see.

Here’s my closet, in the front closet.

My clothes are on the far right. BF took the other side.

Kitchen to your right…

And just above the right side, near the sink area, there’s a bar top counter where we keep all of our fruits and veggies.

This really frees up a TON of space on our dining room table.

On the other side is our other walk-in storage area with a fridge (don’t ask) and more shelves, plus a little storage room (straight ahead).

Here’s the storage closet in the walk-in storage area.

The walk in storage area also leads into the bathroom on the right.

We don’t have towels in there because we hang it up in the walk-in storage area

I love the little cubby thing that goes across. All my potions and lotions are hidden in there, as well as BF’s electric razor.

Heading out of there completely, you are immediately in the dining/office room area..

(see? clear, empty table! It’s great.)

.. and the view from the other side is where we sleep on our futon, and our “bedside” is the floor space beside the bed.

I am clearly the side with the teddy bear. πŸ™‚

That rack on the side also turned into a electronics station.

We have our folders for our companies, our mini netbooks, BF’s Macbook that he uses occasionally, and an iPod is set up in the middle of the two speakers (not pictured) that we use as a music center.

Printer is below, with items we have to scan, plus blank paper.

And below that, is more files, and our hard drives in cases.

That’s it!

Small eh? But we love it. We don’t feel cramped at all, it feels cosy and spacious at the same time.


Well, the big things are that we don’t own a TV, and therefore don’t have a couch, nor do we have much furniture. Our dining room is also our office, and our bedroom is also our living room.

Wabi sabi* and all that.

*wabi sabi is the Japanese art of essentially making things and rooms have more than one purpose.

I think that when people say “I need a bigger home“, what they should be saying is “I need to re-think what I have, and maybe pare down“.

There are a lot of homes I’ve been to, where I just.. feel so cramped and cluttered, and the space was triple or four times the size of what I was living in!

There is just too much STUFF everywhere in people’s homes, and as I drift deeper and deeper into a minimalist lifestyle, I am noticing all of it in great detail.

Stuff on the walls, dysfunctional pieces of furniture that aren’t useful, everything in a mess, boxes stacked up to the ceiling….

This is a disease, people! πŸ™‚

It’s called Affluenza, and if you ever think you need MORE space when what you have should be enough, you’re just fooling yourself. You just need to re-evaluate the space you have and make it work.


In our other apartment, we had space for guests. That was nice.

But to be honest, how many people really visit us each year?

I’d say we get less than one visit a year, because people just don’t have the time to come to and chill for vacation when they could be in Vegas or NYC instead.

Sad, but true. I sometimes use food as an incentive to visit me…. and it only worked on my sister!

But seriously, having a guest room is nice, but it’s a luxury, and not really needed. If we get guests, we’ll get a Japanese folding panel or something, and put it up in the middle of the room, and set up a second futon on the other side as a bed.

And since guests are supposed to be temporary visitors anyway, this will be a nice way to get them to understand that they can’t overstay their welcome. πŸ˜›

However, if you ARE a family that hosts a lot.. by all means, a guest room is a MUST HAVE for you.

But for us? Not so much. Kind of a waste.


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.