Ever had dreams of living on your own in the big city? Well, an online platform 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 that the cost of living can really add up.
- You might also like:
- On the rise: Calgary experienced greater annual rent increase than areas near Toronto
- Average Calgary home price expected to increase 8% by the end of 2022
- Calgary ranks among the top 10 most affordable housing markets in the world
We broke down the monthly costs that a person renting alone in Calgary will face. Brace yourself.
These numbers are accurate as of April 2022, and are based on per-month averages.
Housing and utilities = $1,667.34 per month
According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Calgary is $1,368.93.
Now, throw utilities on top of that rental price, and it’s up another $210.22 per month. Need WiFi? Prepare to pay another $88.19 per month.
Add it all up, and the total comes to $1,667.34. 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 more wallet-friendly phone companies, but the Big Three in Canada (Bell, Telus, and Rogers) don’t come cheap!
Transportation = $112 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 $112.
If you’re living and working downtown, you might be able to forgo a monthly pass and choose to buy one-way transit tickets as needed ($3.60 per ticket). Lots of Calgarians walk or bike to work, but in the winter months, this is a less desirable option.
Considering how these costs are already adding up, maybe it’s worth investing in a bike.
Groceries and household items = $347.28 per month
Taking Numbeo’s average Calgary prices for the standard market items, being purchased once a week, a total monthly grocery average comes to $347.28 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 = $300 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 $85 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 $99. Assuming that’s not the only day you head out, and perhaps you join friends for a couple of brunches, go to a concert, and maybe see a movie night or two, you’re looking at about $300 per month – at least.
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 one night of every weekend and enjoy two or three drinks each time, you’ll end up having spent about $120 each month on outings.
Though, after two years of on-and-off lockdowns, who can blame you for wanting to go out and bust loose?
Health and fitness = $85.31 per month
Thinking about joining a gym or fitness group? Numbeo says Calgarians pay $85.31 on average.
Maybe you should consider turning your $1,250 per month rental apartment into a home gym. Or, lift some milk jugs, squat in front of your 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 that fancy latte and just going for a large coffee, you’re looking at about $3 per cup. And say 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 the 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?
Groceries/household items: $347.28
Entertainment/dining out: $300
Health and fitness: $85.31
Total: $2917.93 per month, and $35,015.16 annually
Numbeo says that the average monthly salary in Calgary is $5,185.49. After expenses, this leaves just under $2,270 per month to pay any additional bills such as student loans, 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, especially as you get closer to downtown, so it’s no wonder that more and more people are heading for the suburbs, or shacking up with a partner or roommate.