Ever had dreams of living on your own in the big city? Well, a new report shows just how much it costs to live alone in Calgary.
Our city has a lot to offer, including major sporting events, incredible restaurants, tons of culture, live music, craft breweries, and history to boot. But those who live in Calgary know the cost of living can really add up.
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We broke down the monthly costs that a person renting alone in Calgary will face. Brace yourself.
These numbers are accurate as of October 2021 and are based on per-month averages.
Housing = $1,532.41 per month
According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Calgary is $1,254.84.
Now, throw utilities on top of that rental price, and it’s up another $194.42 per month. Want WiFi? Prepare to pay another $83.15 per month.
Add it all up, and the total comes to $1,532.41. Yikes.
Phone = $101 per month
Ouch. According to a 2019 report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Centre (CRTC), the average phone bill for Canadians is $101.
You can find cheaper options if you opt for less data or opt for more wallet-friendly phone companies, but the Big Three in Canada (Bell, Telus, and Rogers) don’t come cheap!
Transportation = $109 per month
As more and more workplaces return to the office, commuters are filling up Calgary Transit buses and CTrains again. A monthly unlimited pass for Calgary Transit costs $109.
If you’re living and working downtown, you might be able to forgo a monthly pass and opt to buy one-way transit tickets as needed. Lots of Calgarians opt to walk or bike to work, but with winter fast approaching, fewer people are using that option.
Considering how these costs are already adding up, maybe it’s worth investing in a bike, but be careful that it’s not stolen. Calgary’s bike thieves never sleep.
Groceries and household items = $306.56 per month
Taking in Numbeo’s average Calgary prices for the basic market items, being purchased once a week, comes to a total monthly average of $306.56 for a single person in their 20s or 30s on a basic diet.
And by basic, we mean very basic: milk, rice, bread, apples, bananas, eggs, chicken…
Entertainment and dining out = $250 per month
A lot of people move to the city for the culture and the nightlife, and Calgary is no exception, but seeing your bill might make you think twice about going out.
According to Numbeo, the average cost for two to dine out in Calgary at a mid-range restaurant is $77.50 for a three-course meal. Presumably, this price doesn’t include any alcoholic beverages, which would probably boost the price by about $14, assuming each person had one drink.
So, one evening of dining out will cost $91.50. Assuming that’s not the only night you head out, and perhaps you join friends for a couple of brunches, and maybe a movie night or two, you’re looking at about $250 per month.
Partying = $120 per month
You can expect to pay about $7 to $10 per drink in the city, depending on where and what you’re drinking.
Now that going out for a night of drinking is back on the table, assume you resume your regular drinking-with-friends activities. If you go out to drink one night of every weekend and drink two or three drinks, you’ll end up having spent about $120 each month on outings.
Though, after a year of lockdowns, who can blame you for wanting to go out and bust loose?
Health and fitness = $68.52 per month
Thinking about joining a gym or fitness group? Numbeo says Calgarians pay $68.52 on average.
Maybe you should consider turning your $1,250 per month rental apartment into a home gym. Or lift a milk jug, squat your couch, or skip the elevator and take the stairs.
Coffee (from a coffee shop) = $60 per month
You can’t throw a rock without hitting a local coffee shop in Calgary, which is great for those of us who run on caffeine. Less great for our wallets.
Assuming you’re not opting for a fancy latte and just going for the large coffee, you’re looking at about $3 per cup. Assuming you’re getting one coffee per workday, that’s $60 per month. Maybe it’s time to invest in a coffee pot.
Extras = $125 per month
As much as financial advisors love to tell Millennials and Gen Z we’re just one avocado toast away from bankruptcy, we need to be able to live! And living comes with costs.
No matter how much you budget, there is always that chance that “extra” costs will crop up. Whether you’re having to fix a broken piece of technology, replace a part on your bike, or invest in a new pair of work shoes, we’re going to average this at $125 per month.
The Grand Total
So, how does it all add up? It’s a lot.
Groceries/Household Items: $306.56
Dining Out: $250
Health and Fitness: $68.52
Total: $2,672.49 per month, and $32,069.88 annually
Numbeo says that the average salary in Calgary is $4,970.66, which leaves just under $2,300 per month to pay any additional bills like student debt, credit card bills, and the like, along with saving up for travelling, a mortgage, and any emergencies that come up.
Most Calgarians know that the city is expensive to live in, more significantly if you are closer to downtown, so it’s no wonder that more and more people are heading for the suburbs.