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7 easy life hacks to live in Vancouver on a budget

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Daily Hive Custom Content May 23, 2017 2:00 am 10,156

Join Daily Hive as we team up with Kijiji to showcase Second-Hand Van, a four-part web series showing the amazing things West Coasters are doing with the second-hand economy.


Your friends are concerned.

You’re so broke that you repeatedly howl your own rap rendition of ‘Hard Knock Life’ by Kanye West – over and over and over again.

You’re breaking down because the Vancouver lifestyle is an expensive one and you can’t keep up. It’s critical that you fight to make ends meet.

You figure that if you want to live in Vancouver, you gotta get creative. Your imagination takes you to inspiring places as you look out your dusty bedroom window. And then you see it – a van. A big one.

You start to wonder: What if we found a way to completely annihilate Vancouver’s rental prices by taking to second-hand vans – turning them into liveable spaces?  It’s a thought-provoking question that’s explored within the fourth episode of Second-Hand Van. Hosted by Daniel Fu, who was the past host of Canada’s The Liquidator, he witnesses a van turn into a liveable space. And this one gets seriously pimped out.

Don’t forget about the monthly rental price either: Nil.

Inspired by the refurbishment of this van that doubles as a trendy living space, Daily Hive created a list of super easy and tangible hacks for saving money in Vancouver.

Slice up your credit card

Most people freeze their credit cards in an ice cube so they don’t use them. Take it one step further and eliminate any possibility of ever using yours by slicing it up with scissors. This is truly a cathartic experience that will give you lots of relief. Voila: You’re automatically saving yourself a ton of money.

Pimp out an old van

Yes – It’s totally doable and it makes sense in Vancouver. Four wheels can take you on a road trip, to a festival, or act as your personal jamming space. Get a decent sound system, mini-fridge and some cool interiors installed, and you’ve technically got a party bus. When you watch the fourth episode of Second-Hand Van, you see how this is actually a feasible option. Fu’s friend named Brit just bought a second-hand Westfalia, and she wants it pimped out. Luckily, using Kijiji, they find a carpenter who’s willing to do the job. The grand unveil reveals a van that’s decked out with all the things you need in order to live comfortably – arguably better than what you’d get in a cramped Vancouver apartment. So, it’s no surprise that Serge at the start of the episode is living in his full-time, fancy and rent-free.

Drink during happy hour

Going out for drinks in Vancouver doesn’t have to cost you a day’s pay. With so many bars offering great happy hour deals, you can get tipsy before 6 pm and have money to live afterwards. Nobody will judge you, even if you’re in bed by 9 pm. Blame it on the $4 cocktails.

Get a roommate

So what if you’re 28? It’s never too late to get a roommate. If you have an extra room, rent it out, or if you want to lower your rent just move in with someone. You’ll have someone to talk and laugh with at the end of the day – to listen to how a penguin turned up at your office. You’ll have a better social life, house parties, and shared bills. Just make sure you remember to clean up after yourself when you munch into chips and ice-cream binge-watching a series on Netflix.

Shop at a market

Sure, you want to eat healthy, everyone does. But grocery shopping for nutritious items in Vancouver costs a lot when you visit the mainstream stores. Seriously, should a bag of apples really cost you $8? By shopping at a local farmers market, you’ll cut out the middle man, save on groceries, oh – and get the freshest veggies on the market. Literally.

Go treasure hunting

Forget buying everything brand new and starving for a week because of it. You can go treasure hunting around your own home, then buy and sell items online using Kijiji to make a quick buck. Sell that road bike or old games console of yours and snap up something else for less than the price you’d pay in-store. It’s an easy, effective way to save cash.

Party at your place

One of the biggest budget busters is the whole ‘night out’ thing. It’s easy to drop at least $100 at a bar and don’t forget the cab there and back and having to wait in those awfully long club lines. Instead, try inviting friends over. At most, you just need to buy a bottle of cheap wine. Next, tell them to bring their favourite varieties of food. A party…in your apartment.


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